Two Jails in One

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Title: Two Jails in One Impediments to Professionalization for Modern Jail Corrections Officers
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Lora, Chelsey
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2009
Publication Date: 2009


Subjects / Keywords: Jails
Corrections Officers
Law Enforcement
Sheriff's Departments
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: In the qualitative study of corrections officers (COs) in a Florida county jail, participants demonstrated the difficulties of working in a 21st Century sheriff's department that is not professionalized but seeking to improve public image and conditions through policy changes that increase officer frustration rather than meet said goals. The day shift and the night shift demonstrated stark differences. These two conflicting shifts emerged not simply from distinct work responsibilities, but rather directly from seniority practices, shift organization, and department strategies for professionalization that ignore front-line officers own needs, responsibilities, and expertise. This study suggests that, through their attempts to improve jails, sheriffs departments actually impede the professionalization of their COs, though such an evolution in the career might bring the progress that communities really need.
Statement of Responsibility: by Chelsey Lora
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2009
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Brain, David

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Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2009 L8
System ID: NCFE004136:00001

Permanent Link:

Material Information

Title: Two Jails in One Impediments to Professionalization for Modern Jail Corrections Officers
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Lora, Chelsey
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2009
Publication Date: 2009


Subjects / Keywords: Jails
Corrections Officers
Law Enforcement
Sheriff's Departments
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: In the qualitative study of corrections officers (COs) in a Florida county jail, participants demonstrated the difficulties of working in a 21st Century sheriff's department that is not professionalized but seeking to improve public image and conditions through policy changes that increase officer frustration rather than meet said goals. The day shift and the night shift demonstrated stark differences. These two conflicting shifts emerged not simply from distinct work responsibilities, but rather directly from seniority practices, shift organization, and department strategies for professionalization that ignore front-line officers own needs, responsibilities, and expertise. This study suggests that, through their attempts to improve jails, sheriffs departments actually impede the professionalization of their COs, though such an evolution in the career might bring the progress that communities really need.
Statement of Responsibility: by Chelsey Lora
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2009
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Brain, David

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2009 L8
System ID: NCFE004136:00001

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TWO JAILS IN ONE: IMPEDIMENTS TO PROFESSIONALIZATION FOR MODERN JAIL CORRECTIONS OFFICERS BY CHELSEY LORA A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Social Sciences New College of Florida in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts in Sociology Under the sponsorship of Dr. David Brain Sarasota, Florida May, 2009


! Two Jails in One: Impediments to Professionalization For Modern Jail Corrections Officers Chelsey Lora New College of Florida, 2009 ABSTRACT In the qualitative study of corrections officers (COs) in a Florida county jail, participants demonstrate d the difficulties of working in a 21st Century sheriff's department that is not professionalized but seeking to improve public image and conditions through policy changes that increase officer frustration rather than meet said goals. The day shift and the night shift demonstrated stark differences. These two conflicting shifts emerged not simply from distinct work responsibilities, but rather directly from seniority practices, shift organization, and department strategies for professionalization that ignor e front line officers own needs, responsibilities, and expertise. This study suggests that, through their attempts to improve jails, sheriffs departments actually impede the professionalization of their COs, though such an evolution in the career might bri ng the progress that communities really need. Dr. David Brain Sociology


! "" TABLE OF CONTENTS New Policies and Old Ways: the Rebirth and Stagnation of U.S. Jails ............................... i The Development of Career Line C orrections Officers in Jails and the Underdevelopment of Administrative Policy Strategy in Corrections And Law Enforcement: a Review of the Literature ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 6 Jails COs and Prison COs: Different Environments and Populations .................... 6 Jails Within Sherif f's Departments ................................ ................................ ......... 8 Learning From Studies of Police: Professionalism and Relationship With the Public ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 15 Autonomy and Participation in Decision Making: An Ignored Component of Professionalization ................................ ................................ ................................ 19 Lack of Administrative Policy Strategy and COs' Attitudes to Reform ............... 22 Professionalism and Semi Professions ................................ ................................ 29 Methods of This Study ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 3 2 The Population and the Participants ................................ ................................ ..... 32 Qualitative and Quanitative Data ................................ ................................ .......... 33 Representing the Sample: Experiences and Placement of COs ................................ ........ 36 Shifts and Work Assignments ................................ ................................ ............... 36 Career St age and Age ................................ ................................ ............................ 40 Prior Work Experience ................................ ................................ ......................... 44 The Findings: COs Discuss Inmate Management, Co Workers, and the Job ................... 48 Managing Inmates: Participants' Characterization of the Role of the CO ............ 48 Dealing With Co Workers and Administrators ................................ .................... 57 Public Perception and B eing Public About the Job ................................ .............. 63 Two Shifts, Two Jails: Analysis of the Findings That Distinct Organizational Climates Have Emerged ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 66 Night and Day: Shift Differences and Implications ................................ .............. 68 Impediments to Professionalization ................................ ................................ ...... 72 The Experience of the Work Crew O fficer ................................ ........................... 83 Strategies For Improving Jail Corrections: Concluding Thoughts on the Implications of This Study For Corrections in the 21st Century ................................ ............................... 85 References ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 98


1 NEW POLICIES AND OLD WAYS: THE REBIRTH AND STAGNATION OF U.S. JAILS The jail is the gateway to the ever growing phenomena that is the United States judicial correctional system, supervising one in thirty two American adults (including those in jail and pr ison or on parole or probation). With innumerable difficult and complex tasks, jails must serve the everyday needs of diverse populations of sentenced and pretrial detainees whose movements are more frequent and complicated than that of those in state or f ederal custody. Most of these prisoners are charged with non serious offenses (driving under the influence, drug possession, etc.) When taken into custody, many are belligerent and/or intoxicated and all arrestees can be unpredictable upon i ncarceration ( Thompson and Mays 1991). The jail officer is at the front line of corrections, dealing with everyone from a first time arrestee charged with DUI to a veteran felon facing murder allegations. While prisons where convicted felons serve sentences of more than a year operate under the aegis of state Departments of Corrections (DOC) or the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), jails process arrestees and hold defendants awaiting trial or serving sentences of less than a year under the jurisdiction of local governments With some exceptions such as the California Department of Corrections that presides over and classifies notoriously tumultuous jail inmates, most county jails are run by local sheriff's departments and do not classify prisoners (Kerle and Ford 1982). Jai l COs guard 32% of the incarcerated population (versus 68% in prisons), but their work is scattered across local jurisdictions rather than united under state DOCs or the national BOP (Bureau of Justice Statistics 2008).


2 Beginning in the 1980s, various age ncies throughout the criminal justice community sought to improve "front line staff" by "recruiting better educated staff members, increasing training, and offering higher pay" (Wright, Saylor, Gilman, and Camp 1997: 530). In both corrections and law enfor cement, consequently, unionization, certification and training, publications, and other organizational progress have emerged. Especially in law enforcement, departments cracked down on corruption and other unethical practices. Furthermore, in response to c oncerns about law enforcement personnel's inability to operate jails, most sheriff's departments have designated corrections bureaus to oversee jail operations, while in previous times, patrol deputies were assigned to temporary jail duty. Many sheriffs ha ve developed "dual tracks" within their departments. Jail COs are sheriff deputies within the corrections bureau of the department, while other deputies are law enforcement certified officers (LEOs). Both groups receive certification after their respective academy training. Corrections deputies, unless they are dual certified to do so, cannot serve "on the road" and, likewise, patrol deputies cannot serve within the jail. Given the socio political climate and citizens' crime concerns, sheriff's departments repeatedly give priority to patrol operations. Jails are often slower to meet national or state correctional standards due to the "low priority" of corrections within these agencies that consider their main objective to be law enforcement (Poole and Pogreb in 1982: 606). This reflects the inability of these smaller, police oriented departments to manage corrections facilities. Jail COs who already suffer the perennial problems of the correctional environment understaffing, harsh conditions, hostile inmates, high stress levels also lack the administrative interest that prison COs within DOC or BOP or that police


3 officers might comparatively enjoy. Unlike other members of the criminal justice system, COs have no choice in or control over those with whom they i nteract. For instance, unlike police who have some discretion in their patrol operations (i.e. citizen interaction, arrest powers, etc.) under considerably less supervision, correctional staffs have no control over who enters their facility, how long they stay, or to where they are released, and they do so under constant, confined scrutiny. These "upgrades" pushed by departments have done little to alleviate the powerlessness of COs. After all, administrative reforms do not appear to represent a genuine eff ort to professionalize COs (or LEOs), but rather an attempt to improve the public face of departments. Certainly, these administrative modifications (or even crackdowns) have brought improvements to jail conditions. I argue that departments have not found the respect and support they want precisely because their neglect and misunderstanding of the needs and responsibilities of their front line officers has hampered any direct or indirect progress toward professionalization. Based on these trends, I argue th at COs have not achieved professionalism, but semi professionalism. Professionalization is the development of a career into a profession, which is a career characterized by specialized training, expert knowledge and theory, a standard of ethics, monopoly and autonomy over activities, a community with rewards and recognition, and public status. In casual conversation, many use the word "professional" to descri be certain aspects of a profession in reference to careers or business, but they do not employ this sociological definition. For instance, a worker might be described as a "professional" in a particular field to which he or she has committed or from which he or she financially supports his or herself, but that career may not be professionalized This


4 use of the word "professional" only addresses the specialization aspect of professionalism. In casual conversation, a worker might be referred to as behaving like a professional" or "professionally" because he or she has acted or presented his or herself responsi bly, ethically, or businesslike, especially in the workplace. Once again, this reflects one aspect of professionalism, but such a worker may not be a professional in sociological terms. Semi professionals may exhibit several characteristics of professionalism, but are not fully professionalized. For instance, nurses have specialized training, expert knowledge, and a code of ethics. T h ey do not, however, have monopoly and autonomy over conditio ns and the public status that doctors do. COs find themselves in a similar position. I interviewed corrections certified, front line sheriff deputies in the Southwest County Jail which is located in Florida. In semi structured qualitative interviews, participants were a sked a variety of questions about the demands and their perceptions of their job. Questions about the expectations of them on the job and what stands in the way of doing their job effectively conveyed how they feel and how they go about their regular opera tions. This section may shed light on the detention oriented rather than rehabilitative nature of the correctional role, conflicting or impossible managerial/administrative expectations, and/or COs' frustration over their lack of power and/or effect iveness Certainly, workers lower in a paramilitary organization are likely to voice feelings of inferiority, helplessness, and dissatisfaction and report a lack of appreciation from !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Name s changed to ensure confidentiality.


5 administrators. Police, the primary comparable profession, are likely to paralle l in these sentiments. Police officers, however, would in no way voice feelings of inferiority to corrections officers, a group that undoubtedly will lament their substandard status compared to law enforcement (i.e. deferential treatment by the administrat ion, community appreciation of police, police officers own lack of regard for correctional counterpa rts, etc.) (Pogrebin and Poole June 1988). COs' perceptions about the gap in respect and status between corrections and law enforcement within their sherif f's department, in their community, and in the criminal justice system, therefore, will be significant. For these reasons, COs would voice feelings of inferiority to patrol officers; meanwhile, for these same reasons, patrol will feel superior to correctio ns. Both COs and LEOs suffer from lack of professionalism and confusion and misunderstanding of their distinct roles, but COs' problems are compounded by departmental favoritism and public demands for sheriff's departments A stronger movement from semi pr ofessionalism towards professionalization for corrections would enhance working conditions through less hostile administrative relations, authority of COs' expertise, and the efficiency and efficacy of the facility the COs run. Not only would more qualifie d candidates be attracted to the field, but also working officers would be able to operate more effectively. This study makes the case that, although COs have moved towards professionalization, what prevents this progression is the low public opinion of co rrections officers, which is perpetuated the community's election of sheriffs who consequently address citizens' crime concerns through law enforcement rather than corrections as the public may seldom value the quality of local corrections or consider it a possible component of crime prevention.


6 Administrators are not wrong in thinking that personnel changes will improve conditions. Their motivation of enhancing public image has not been effective however, precisely because they have implemented changes wi th this as their chief goal, rather than the professional development of the field. Many researchers have studied how corrections has been positively and negatively affected by these policy transformations. My research will focus on how personnel organizat ion has negatively affected possible professionalization through the cohabitation of underdeveloped, potentially progressive policy and perpetuating, older practices.


7 TH E DEVELOPMENT OF CAREER LINE CORRECTIONS OFFICER IN JAILS AND THE UNDERDEVELOPMENT OF ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY STRATEGY IN CORRECTIONS AND L AW ENFORCEMENT: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Jail COs and Prison COs: Different Environments and Populations Much of correctional literature discusses the supervised rather than the supervising. Among the literature addressing corrections officers, very lit tle can be found about those working within jails rather than prisons. These works argue that U.S. jails and the entire correctional system for that matter exercise the least influence in both the criminal justice and correctional system as well as in the ir own destinies. The U.S. Department of Labor states, "Although both jails and prisons can be dangerous places to work, prison populations are more stable than jail populations, and correctional officers in prisons know the security and custodial requirem ents of the prisoners with whom they are dealing." When inmates are first processed through jails is the most dangerous time to guard them because jail correctional officers are often unaware of these prisoners' capabilities (Occupational Outlo ok Handbook : Corrections Officers 2006 ). The relative dangerousness, stressfulness, and complexity of these respective detention institutions are debatable and more or less unstudied. The U.S. Department of Labor suggests that the most hazardous aspect of the local C O's work is the unpredictability of the various inmates who come and go everyday (Occupational


8 Outlook Handbook ). Furthermore, inmates' short stays make a proper assessment of their needs and their security requirements difficult. Conversely, prison guards are aware of the histories of their detainees; these backgrounds, however, are significantly more likely to be more serious and violent than those of jail detainees. In both of these institutions, inmate on inmate violence is more likely than inmate on of ficer violence. Officer on inmate violence, however, is more likely than inmate on officer. Given their limited options in controlling incarcerated populations, this indicates that officers use violence as a form of control (Clear and Cole 1997). This stud y will explore the control officers have in facility operations ad how this has changed with recent policy shifts. The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics report that more violence occurs in U.S. jails, although studies of suicide and homicide rates find tha t jail inmates commit suicide at three times the rate of prison detainees, while homicide rates in both facilities are comparable with prisons' slightly higher. Nearly half of jail suicides happened within the first week of the inmates' custody. While suic ide rates in jail and prison are higher than that of the standardized U.S. population, the homicide rate among non incarcerated Americans is almost ten times higher than in both jails and prisons (Mumola 2005). While here most of this study's participants' references to the dangers of detention refer to the hazards of being an officer, these factors can offer some perspective on the anxiety facing COs in these respective facilities wh en trying to maintain control. Jail COs' management and training experien ces differ from their prison counterparts. Both environments and their officers share a stigma even for the COs, however, and most people in the community cannot identify the difference between a jail and a prison (Thompson and Mays 1991 ). Many officers ta ke these positions because


9 they lack advanced education and/or they seek the security of government work. Similar to prison administrations, county sheriff's departments that run these facilities experience terrible turnover among their COs and, thus, jail s are notoriously understaffed, making officers' jobs considerab ly more difficult and hostile. Understaffing causes greater safety concerns among COs and, thus, they take more defensive postures towards inmates. Furthermore, smaller staffs instigate less o fficer inmate interaction, which diminishes chances of posi tive instances of such contact. Statistics from the 1980s report huge stress levels among COs in both prisons and jails and, consequently, significantly lower life expectancies than the rest of the population (Clear and Cole 1997 ). Jails Within Sheriff's departments Kerle and Ford (1982) are among the first to address the complex issues facing U.S. jails through their national survey of sheriff's departments They cite personnel related problems a s the most significant difficulty facing these institutions: understaffing, deficiency in training, insufficient pay, and overwhelming turnover, which is directly related to a shortage of incentives to stay in the field. They also list obsolete facilities, dangerous physical conditions, and insufficient security, physical and mental health care, and accommodations are also listed as problems local sheriffs confront in running jails. During this time period, especially following Kerle and Ford's report to th e National Sheriffs' Association, sheriffs also faced criticism due to the running of their detention centers by law enforcement, because many involved in the field felt that police officers were ill equipped to run such facilities. In reaction, these depa rtments separated themselves into distinct bureaus: corrections and law enforcement. This alteration helped


10 to cultivate the "career line correctional officer" as well as "a dual career track within their departments" so that "decisions concerning promotio n, salary increases, and training opportunities can now be based on performance within the two separate work contexts" ( Poole and Pogrebin s pring 1988: 612) Poole and Pogrebin conducted two groundbreaking studies of sheriff run county jails: "The Work Orie ntations of Jail Personnel: a Comparison of Deputy Sheriffs and Career Line Officers" ( s pring 1988) and "Deputy Sheriffs as Jail Guards: a Study of Correctional Policy Orientations and Career Phases" (June 1988). Both articles advocate the separate trainin g and operations of law enforcement and corrections within county sheriff's departments a now common division that was still being implemented at the time. This implementation serves as a move to professionalism that they argue would help address the self reported personnel issues inside jails, a problem brought to the forefront of law enforcement and corrections discussion through Kerle and Ford. Correctional Philosophies and Role Stress: The Problems of Temporary Jail Deputies Pogrebin and Poole's work s hows that all sheriff deputies working within county jails were not professionally dedicated to corrections. In "Deputy Sheriffs as Jail Guards," th ey explore how deputies bring to work a variety of philosophies towards corrections ("correctional policy or ientations") and these attitudes vary proportionally within their population throughout career phases. They categorize these views of incarceration into "restraint" (that it should serve as punishment), "reform" (that it should serve as a deterrent, instil ling inmates with respect for rules), "rehabilitation" (that it should be humane, providing treatment and addressing individual needs), and


11 "reintegration" (that it should be only remaining option for offenders and offer opportunities for community partici pation) (194). The study found that percentages of COs support the rehabilitation approach was higher earlier in their careers (21.2% in the early phase, dropping to 6.4% in the latest), while restraint was higher in the latest phase (46.8%, rising from 30 .3% in the first). Meanwhile, the number of officers subscribing to the reform and reintegration orientations was constant across all stages (30 35% and around 15%, respectively). In any given career phase, about two thirds of COs subscribe to either restr aint or reform. Officers appear to associate a role within each policy orientation, and subsequent role stress emerges in different career phases, which manifested when researchers interviewed CO participants. Restraint and reform officers experienced spik ed stress in mid career, while rehabilitation and reintegration did more during the latter phase. The authors argue that COs sympathetic to rehabilitation and reintegration approaches find few resources to assist inmates and little administrative support, as these orientations are not administrative goals. Furthermore, they become frustrated with an apparent lack of inmate interest in rehabilitation (although it may be fair to theorize that inmates cannot express interest in opportunities that do not exist in the jail environment). The authors hypothesize that when faced with the reality of working in jail, many COs turn their back on the idealism with which they came to work in the facility and adopt an approach of restraint because it is "void of any prete nse of doing anything more than maintaining custodial control of the inmate population." Additionally, this orientation emphasizes "gaining inmate compliance with institutional rules [which] is quite consistent with the basic expectations of jail guards" ( 200). These deputies find this approach must adaptable


12 to their immediate job obligations. This stability of expectations must help account for the consistent high percentage of deputies ascribing to the most compatible correctional orientations (restraint and reform). While restraint deputies experience the most stress in their middle phase and comparable stress in the beginning and end, not surprisingly, deputies in the rehabilitation and reintegration experience increasing role stress from stage to stage These findings are important because they demonstrate that although all of them are presumably expected to perform the same job, COs are not uniform in their attitudes towards inmate supervision and support a range of approaches to working with varied a nd ever changing populations. The authors theorize that different people come to the job with different perspectives and that their opinions also change throughout their career stages. These findings highlight both the complexity of working in an environme nt in which a clear approach to corrections is not offered and viewed as the ideal. Pogrebin and Poole's participants' responses highlight a prominent deficiency in the administration's guidance in role development. COs must develop their own judgments wit hin the confines of their departments and facilities and most move towards restraint and reform, which is most compatible with the operational procedures offered to them. When considering this study, one must keep in mind that the participants are serving on temporary jail duty. Those professionally committed to corrections (i.e. career line officers) might respond differently. If the authors' latter study of career line officers (discussed below) is taken into account, one might hypothesize that these prof essional COs might view reintegration and rehabilitation oriented policy more favorably.


13 Professional Commitment Versus Temporary Assignment "Work Orientations of Jail Personnel" compares the attitudes of sheriff deputies (wh o work in jails for a specif ied tour of duty prior to permanent transfer to patrol) and "career line correctional officers": those COs in sheriff's departments trained for and permanently assigned to jail duty. With law enforcement taking precedence over corrections in these departme nts, Poole and Pogrebin found both groups complaining of a lack of administrative interest or support: "The sheriff effectively communicates a message that neither the jail nor its personnel are highly regarded in broader departmental concerns" (609). Othe rwise, the two groups offer very different opinions. Temporary jail deputies were forced to begin their careers there before working in law enforceme nt or were assigned jail duty provisionally as part of a rotation or punishment. Poole and Pogrebin argue t hat since they are trained for an entirely different occupation that involves the investigation of crime and apprehension of criminals, police officers are not only ill equipped for corrections, but also consider it to be a job of lower "responsibility and status" within the department and the community, leading to a "widespread disillusionment with the corrections role" among these deputies. Furthermore, their "self image as law enforcement officers" is tested by having to perform the department's "dirty w ork," which they do not view as important to its goals. Because of their academy training directly prior to jail duty and their career aspirations and future, these deputies are more likely to stress "their duties of custodial control, discipline, and secu rity" instead of addressing inmates' needs, cultivate a "defensive posture toward inmates," "perceive the bulk of the prisoners as committed to a criminal way of life," and view the jail as having "little positive impact on inmate attitudes and


14 behaviors." Like prisoner s, these deputies view correctiona l duties as "doing time" and do not develop sympathy for the correctional role (609 610). Meanwhile, "career line" corrections officers, although they feel they lack the respect they deserve, find "comfort in their strong sense of in group solidarity" that helps the m deal with the demands of the job (609). Although managem ent styles var y officers associate career commitment with the possession and acquisition of "those skills deemed necessary to manage inmate s effectively." They understand that while control must be maintained, this function must be managed with a "degree of empathy in determining the most appropriate response to a particular individual in a particular situation." That is, an officer's ability to control inmates without force but rather through interpersonal skills is viewed as paramount within correctional staffs (610). Participants emphasize that managing inmates comes down to human relations rather than authoritative force, espousing a "firm but fair" philosophy. Since jails intake a great quantity of inmates with different "medical, mental health, and drug or alcohol problems," officers must handle a variety of inmates going through a gamut of emotions. Consequently, "officers are constantly tested by inmates" trying to adapt to the detention environment, and an atmosphere of conflict inevitably continues. Thus, officers "must develop personal work styles" that respond appropriately and come from independent judgment rather than simply traini ng. (612). While still voicing the same concerns for security as law enforcement track deputies, these participants also hold more positive and empathetic views of detainees whom they see in "complex terms" and as coming from a wide range of background. Th ey tend "to perceive their custodial functions as highly dependent on their human service skills," decreasing the distance between them and prisoners in order


15 to "manage the jail effectively." A situational, individualized approach is emphasized: The autho rs argue that understanding the complexity of inmates' motivations and behavior within the jail rather than their identities outside of it is "critical in the discretionary decision making of the jail officers" (612). Thus, judgment and interpersonal skill s are at the heart of the control these officers maintain in these facilities. Given that these skills are so important among COs, an argument can be made that the professionalization of these workers would help them pass these values on to new members. Al though both temporary deputies and career line officers working in jails voice some of the same frustrations, the development of distinct corrections and law enforcement careers is clearly correlated with a better sense of role and mission as well as a mo re productive relationship with inmates. The separation of law enforcement and corrections, however, has not appeared to enhance the status of officers professionally committed to corrections as they continue to be viewed as "second class citizens." Still, they have a "strong desire" to be recognized as correctional professionalisms within the department (609). Importantly, this study finds that the quality and commitment of individual COs produces a distinctly different job in the correctional environment. The authors recommend, as has emerged, a career line corrections officer to enhance the quality of jails. Along with increased inmate litigation pushing administrations to improve facilities and personnel, this development of career line COs may account f or the improvement in jail conditions during the last decade. Additionally, the development of a career line offers individuals opportunities to move up within the correctional organization rather than stalling officers en route to law


16 enforcement careers. The separation of law enforcement and corrections missions within sheriff's departments brought about professionalization for COs by creating a career track. By recognizing the divergent jobs of police and corrections officer, sheriffs acknowledged the di ffering skills required for their respective tasks. This transformation created a collective occupational upward mobility for COs. Learning From Studies of Police: Professionalism and Relationship With Public Similarly to authors writing about the correct ional field, Tyler (2004) theorizes that better effectiveness and a better relationship with those with w hose care they are charged can be brought about by professionalization of police officers. He argues that (1) "police need public support and cooperati on to be effective to their order maintenance role," (2) public "voluntary support and cooperation is linked to judgments about the legitimacy of the police," and (3) "a key antecedent of public judgments about the legitimacy of the police and of police ac tivities involves public assessment of the manner in which the police exercise their authority" (84). Essentially, the more the public views the police force as legitimate, the more they cooperate with officers. Tyler argues that politicized reallocation o f government funds or policy "quick fixes" will not solve the issues of trust between citizens and police. Rather, socialization and enhancement of "appropriate social and m oral/verbal values" should be encouraged and not linked to fears of legal punishmen t. Studies have shown that the essential component to building these values is the public consensus that officials within the legal system police and courts operate fairly within their authority.


17 Henderson (1975) compares how the characteristics of a comm unity and a sheriff, respectively, affect the phenomenon of professionalization of sheriff's departments He lists "officers' commitments to law enforcement as a career, increased technical competence, raised standards for admissions into departments, and the formalization of internal operations procedures" as characteristics of professionalization because these communities may desire for more consistency and quality in policing (i.e. more bureaucratic organizations). The factors Henderson used to demonstra te professionalism are "(1) hours of training for recruits; (2) amount of annual in service training; (3) number of entrance exams required; and (4) prerequisites for promotion" (111 112). He characterizes non professional, "fraternal police departments" a s relying on officer discretion and "street corner justice" in law enforcement and emphasizing "getting along" in the department. Meanwhile, professionalized departments frequently use arrests to solve disputes, take a formal approach to law enforcement, h andle regular tasks competently, utilize equipment skillfully, and foster low levels of corruption. Tyler also discusses what develops police professionalism. He points out that police departments' readiness or capacity to dispense funds has little effect on the quality of law enforcement communities receive, as budget is not correlated with professionalism. He further makes the case that although the environment of heterogeneous communities may help inspire police departments to professionalize and adopt bureaucratic standards so that police officers have certainty in procedure in varying circumstances, the availability of resources encouraging professionalism (i.e. training, promotions, etc.) is a far more significant factor. Furthermore, despite the vary ing backgrounds of sheriff heads, Tyler concludes that "the low profile of the sheriff in our


18 evidence indicates extensive popular control over the kind of law enforcement the community receives" (127). Consequently, communities' class composition had a mu ch stronger effect on professionalism than these administrative factors. The dominant value system of average, law abiding citizens influences sheriff's departments significantly. Upper class communities expect these organizations to execute law enforcemen t objectively, while lower class communities desire more officer discretion in enforcing the law (126). In a complementary study, Chackerian (1974) argued that, as public confidence in law enforcement falls, with it drops police recruitment, enthusiasm, an d retention rates, as well as citizens' cooperation with these officers. This pushes police away from socializing with civilians and towards searching for support from among their own, further isolating themselves. The popular response to problems within l aw enforcement has been professionalization This has manifested through governance by common values and rules emphasis on rationality, technical competence, impersonality, training, and restraint. Departments have hoped that the professionalization of po lice will enhance public perception of their effectiveness. Chackerian, however, found that positive evaluation by the public is strongly and negatively correlated with professionalism. Professionalized police departments tend to be fairly ineffective in a pprehending suspects although their arrests are found to be more quality and effective in court and are also more likely to be perceived by the public to exercise restraint. Therefore, most communities with the exception of homogenous middle class ones are more satisfied with police departments that are not only effectual but also not exceedingly dedicated to self control. While professionalization concerns itself with greater restraint and fairness


19 and proves to reduce crime in the long run, the public cle arly does not share these goals for their law enforcement. Few studies exist examining public opinion of COs and since the general public has little regular interaction with them, such studies may offer insufficient help in addressing issues in the correct ional field. This research on police, however, does offer some interesting insight into professionalism. Firstly, it argues that more professionalized departments operate more efficiently although perhaps not entirely effectively. Secondly, many communitie s are often at least initially displeased with such departments. Tyler believes that once citizens recognize these professionalized departments' inherent fairness, however, they will garner more respect for their legitimacy. He also argues that re socializ ation of the public needs to occur in order for more trust to emerge between police and the community. These findings may be analogous to corrections organizations. The authors in this section, and also Duffee (whose corrections study is discussed later in this chapter), suggest that officer "subculture" or "fraternal, as Henderson calls it when it pervades an organization run counter to administrative goals. Among both COs and LEOs, bonds often develop between officers as both coping and protection mechan isms. W hen departments themselves are "fraternal," they cannot make steps in the direction of professionalism. Although communities may express desire for more fraternal departments that operate on varying officer discretions, they simultaneously ask for m ore accountability from departments, causing those departments to respond with moves in the direction of professionalism. The confusion in the fields of law enforcement and


20 corrections, therefore, is understandable: The public explicitly asks for more frat ernal departments, while implicitly their needs demand professionalization. This problem is compounded in corrections, which the public has never viewed as a rightful part of criminal justice, but simply a form of social control. In order for corrections t o improve truly, the public must view it as a legitimate component of not just criminal justice but also crime prevention rather than just seeing jails and prisoners as a necessary evil. Considering the obviously mixed feelings citizens have of police inev itable in all communities one can only imagine public acceptance of COs to require even more work from multiple levels of society. Autonomy and Participation in Decision Making: An Ignored Component of Professionalism Organizational Commitment and Job Sat isfaction and Performance In Lambert, Baron, and Hogan's (1999) literature review of job satisfaction and organizational commitment, they link these two concepts to correctional staff attitudes and behaviors in a prison. Organizational theory and research in corrections advise that job satisfaction and organizational commitment are positively correlated to positive work attitudes and behaviors (96). These positive work outcomes are also linked to better performance, staff prisoner relations, and conditions and even stronger feelings towards rehabilitation. Meanwhile, lower levels of job satisfaction and organizational commitment are linked to turnover, low attendance and punctuality, withdrawal from work, and poor and/or hostile relations between "line sta ff" and management. This is especially important in corrections where COs are the most important resource in


21 accomplishing agency objectives (96) They hold that further research in this area should improve the environment and, thus, improve job satisfactio n and organizational commitment, which, in turn, would enhance correctional efficacy. In Hepburn's study of prison guards' work attitudes (1987), participants felt that their level of influence on operations was too low and that exerted by prisoners was t oo high. Consequently, they felt that not only should the influence of the guards increase, but prisoners' should also decrease. According to Hepburn's calculations of data, participants felt that the prisoners' level of influence should drop to the level that they (the guards) thought they currently exercised. The guards also desired that their own power would be equal to that currently held by prisoners. They recognized the limited amount of power in the prison and did not indicate a desire to increase th e total amount (49). Participants' concern over their limited control focuses less on prisoners' relative control than that of the administration. The amount of control COs perceived administrators to have was significantly correlated with officer dissatis faction. This study supports the hypothesis that guards' work attitudes are enhanced through collaborative or participatory management in which the administration allows officers a more "active and formal role in making those policy and procedure decisions that affect the guards' work environment" (61 62). Hepburn concludes that legitimate control should be supplemented through "developing expert and referent power bases as means to increase [guards'] co ntrol over prisoners": services and routine efforts to aid prisoners in meeting their "personal and institutional needs." Subsequently, guards will be making decisions, exercising autonomy, and wielding control. These pursuits increase their ability to maintain control and also predictability within the facil ity, as well as


22 enhancing their job satisfaction and decreasing role strain and alienation (62). This study furthers the findings of a positive correlation between strong job performance and job satisfaction among COs, though its participants work in a pri son rather than a jail. One must also consider that prison inmates may indeed exert more control than jail inmates do in their respective facilities and, therefore, prison guards wield less control than jail officers. More Influence Strengthens CO Satisfac tion, Commitment, and Inmate Management Wright, Saylor, Gilman, and Camp (1997) applied the theory that "giving workers an opportunity to influence decision making and to control operations results in desirable occupational outcomes" to a study of federal prison guards and found such autonomy and participation linked to "higher job satisfaction, stronger commitment to the institution, greater effectiveness in working with inmates, and less job related stress (525). This study might raise some questions in response to studies of the public's relationship with law enforcement from earlier in the chapter, which argue that although more bureaucratic and professionalized police department produce better quality work than more "fraternal" organizations, many comm unities and police who support more "officer discretion" prefer the latter. Both make the case for more professionalized law enforcement based on the efficacy of bureaucracy and the potential difficulties of more unrestricted, non professionalized institut ions (i.e. corruption, lack of uniformity in operations, incompetence, etc.). These same hazards can befall corrections. Wright, Saylor, Gilman, and Camp suggest that future research be undertaken to address the potential negative consequences of more offi cer discretion, especially in the inappropriate treatment of vulnerable populations like prison or jail inmates.


23 The possibility exists, however, that corrections and law enforcement organizations should professionalize differently. Especially if increasi ng ly professionalizing police departments are conducting more procedural, bureaucratic arrests as opposed to fewer arrests, which are based on discretion the responsibility for transitioning new populations through jails (and later, perhaps, prisons) lies with the corrections officer. Arrest power is one of the most important aspects of law enforcement, a task that has become increasing ly uniform with its professionalization. On the other hand, corrections officers are charged with the custody of inmates, a task in which a variety of inmate management styles can function with different levels of efficacy While an arrest can be conducted quickly and efficiently, custody is a twenty four seven task conducted by a team of COs who must not only foster control b ut also attend the everyday needs of these prisoners. Therefore, this prison study by Wright, Saylor, Gilman, and Camp suggests that the complexity of corrections work calls for the development of experienced corrections officers who have a strong voice in the operations of the facility. As Poole and Pogrebin's more professionalized participants reported, a "fair but firm" management style is most effective. Of course, COs with discretional freedom should certainly be held to higher standards. Such supervi sion can perhaps be done more easily in a correctional setting than throughout a community as with police officers. Lack of Administrative Policy Strategy and COs' Attitudes to Reform Infectiveness of Administrative Attempts to Change Attitudes


24 In his s tudy of prison guards, Duffee (1974) suggests that belated additions to correctional training such as classes about inmate rehabilitation which have the goal of developing positive employee attitudes during training, run counter to "the kind of behavior d esired in correctional officers as a result of the training" (168). These sessions led by government experts are compared to freshmen level university lecture hall classes and deemed ineffective at changing officer attitudes, especially in an academy setti ng where few trainees carry respect for academics who have taken their knowledge from reading books rather than working cellblocks (169). The author argues that these sessions are designed to change attitudes and behaviors of trainees, but are as likely to be effective as lectures to inmates about not breaking the law. Like prisoner subculture, guard subculture conflicts with the ideas that these lessons try to instill in them. If superiors would like these sessions to be significant to COs, they must then "methods of training should be employed that can change the weight that officers place on certain kinds of information" (170). Duffee states that in order to change COs' views of more progressive correctional policy, their view of social rewards must be al tered and/or incentives for changing work methods should be made clear. While COs work more contentedly under democratic managers, they do not find the reintegration and rehabilitation goals common among these types of superiors socially rewarding (168). W ithin the pressures of their peer group, COs are more comfortable ascribing to restraint and reform policy orientations. Duffee makes the case that COs do not recognize the incentive of changing their behaviors from these approaches to reintegration or reh abilitation that they perceive perhaps justifiably would increase their role stress and/or job dissatisfaction. Especially


25 considering the participants' obvious distrust of their administration whose viewpoints they would consider less valid at face value even than that of inmates officers' unwillingness to respond to policy orientation changes with no practical operational implementation seems only natural. This study doe s not address the issues in the same way the other authors singled them out, such as that administrators do not reshape operations to offer COs tools for better servicing inmates and perf orming new policy. Duffee highlights several difficulties in policy implementation somewhat differently He points out that o ne dual problem that exists i s that both administrators and COs face difficulties in garnering support for their favored policy orientation in their inferiors and superiors, respectively, especially since many members of an agency may not have a desire or incentive to change policy or develop an opinion on policy approaches. Furthermore, the data displays a possible inflexibility among these officers, a phenomenon the author ascribes to their peer group. Although Duffee does not delve deeply into why this "subculture" might exist, COs' desire to foster some sort of unity in the face of an administration they distrust and the tumultuous correctional environment is not without rationality. In agreement with Pogrebin and Poole's study of jail officers (June 1988), Duffee finds that the maj ority of prison COs also support restraint and reform oriented approaches to detention although, according to Pogrebin and Poole, the percentages of officers supporting these approaches vary throughout careers stages. The group seems to find more safety i n control approaches rather than service. Duffee's "subculture" also shows some similarity to Henderson's "fraternal" organization, although the latter appears to permeate the entire


26 agency rather than simply groups of front line officers. Both phenomena, however, retrogress professionalization and public image. These officers' attitudes are also an undeniable impediment to the implementation of progressive (i.e. reintegration and rehabilitation oriented) correctional policy. More hostile prisoner guard re lations might play a large role in creating the unsafe environments that staff fear. Safety as well as future crime prevention benefit from programs for rehabilitating and/or reintegrating inmates. COs, however, are the men and women who must directly deal with the consequences of more lenient policies towards inmates, and their concern for their personal safety is quite understandable. Duffee proposes that administrations take a more serious approach to implementing those policies suggested by academia thr ough offering genuine incentives and strategies for operationalizing rehabilitation and reintegration. The expectation of correctional workers to embrace new approaches without such a transition is unrealistic. A larger number of COs support these policies early in their careers but are driven away from such idealism when they find little or no real administrative support or available programs (Pogrebin and Poole: June 1988). This might not occur if greater effort was made from all sides of the correctional community. Upgrading Staff For Organizational Reform Jurik and Mosheno (1986) address some of the issues raised by Duffee and also Wright, Saylor, Gilman, and Camp. Workers hoping to increase self determination and effect on operations have sought to prof essionalize themselves. In the corrections field, top administrators have initiated this movement in order to protect their own autonomy from external reformers, especially, in the case of the "Western DOC" studied here, from


27 federal courts. Jurik and Mosh eno argue that administrators have met calls for reform through professionalization (or "upgrading") of their staff with the hope that more educated COs would improve the image of their agencies by cutting into issues of "corruption and inhumane treatment. Jurik and Mosheno, however, make the case that by focusing on individual reforms, such as recruiting more educated COs, these administrations have failed to address the profound organizational level issues in their agencies: "The failure to combine staff upgrading with more comprehensive organizational reforms merely heightened the frustrations within the workforce of the state's correctional institutions" and has caused further tension between superiors and inferiors in these departments (457). Citing se veral similar studies, Jurik and Mosheno make it clear that although education and pay had increased and job descriptions were altered to emphasize service over security, some essential components of professionalism are still lacking for these workers, not ably a clear code of ethics and operational freedom for COs (459). Having educated COs has not been a guarantee for a more service oriented approach for correctional facilities. Jurik and Mosheno found little effect on attitude or behavior, except that the se educated officers report more frustration and job dissatisfaction. Administrators did succeed in hiring more college educated and service oriented officers, but they did not get the results they desired. The authors discover several failures in this imp lementation attempt: Although 31% had a bachelor's degree and 23% an associate's, many of these new recruits did not receive adequate training with 33% reporting they did not attend entry level training and 21% receiving less than ten hours of in service t raining in the year prior to the survey (469 470). Although initially


28 more educated recruits were significantly more likely to be service oriented and less socially distanced from inmates these recruits reported much more dissatisfaction on the job and di d not hold much more positive views of prisoners or rehabilitation once working (469 470). Jurik and Mosheno's data suggests several origins for this dissatisfaction a mong officers: Firstly, organizational level barriers prevented the implementation of the new service ideology. Secondly, despite "rhetoric about professionalization and reform," administrators introduced no real organizational level strategies to assist these "service oriented" COs. In particular, administrators did not attempt to "train and integrate" these educated but inexperienced COs or retrain those who were already experienced to these progressive orientations. Additionally, despite hiring a significant number of recruits interested in a service approach to corrections, the administrati on made no effort to alter the job to be more oriented toward service and COs were "never systematically granted more autonomy or policy input, each essential characteristics of professional occupations" (470 471). Without administrative support for staff self determination, COs seeking to improve human service were admonished by managers. Therefore, new officers judged these reform policies as detrimental to their authority and control. In addition to these oversights, veteran staff felt excluded from the administration's new focus on education over experience while security oriented COs found service reform threatening to control of the facility. Without an effective strategy to implement the so called professionalization and service reorientation of their facility, administrators did little more than increase frustration among COs and overlook issues in detention that caused them to seek reform in the first place (471).


29 After outlining why COs did not respond to policy shifts, the authors address what pre vents administrators from strategizing such changes. Firstly, the courts, media, legislatures, and public are far from uniform in their support of corrections reform. Secondly, economic restraints and "get tough on crime" policies divert funds from correct ions, which must then prioritize budgets, often resulting in the cutting of both inmate service s and officer training programs. Thirdly, officers at all levels within these departments are greatly at odds over inmate service oriented policy (472). The hier archical, paramilitary nature (higher ranks of sergeants, lieutenant, et al. issue bindi ng orders to lower ranks, etc.) of correctional organization also plays a role in preventing professionalization of front line staff. This structure must be fundamental ly altered in order to accommodate professionalized COs, a step administrators did not address (473). Jurik and Mosheno question the ability of these organizations to allow autonomy for professional corrections officers. Instead of training new officers, r eorienting veterans, and developing supportive service programs and procedures, departments rel y on traditional chain of command to direct staff, which often penalize s a ny personnel who operationalize service oriented policy. The management style required in order to implement reforming policies necessitates professionalized personnel who are not simply educated but also effectively trained, participatory in decision making, and "capable of and formally encouraged to use informed judgment or prison reform s trategies" all aspects of correctional professionalization administrators ignored (477). The authors conclude that before suggesting any implementation, administrators must clearly develop both their goals and strategies to achieve them in order to support and guide personnel. Any other approach would be futile. This is consistent with Poole


30 and Pogrebin's conclusion that officers move towards restraint orientations, even if they previously supported more progressive policies, because they find little admin istrative assistance or operational opportunities to further rehabilitation or reintegration. Professionalism and Semi Professions Turner and Hodge (1970) name several areas of importance when determining professionalization: (1) the level of "theory and technique" associated with the practicing of the professions; (2) the level of "external recognition" of the profession; (3) "monopoly over claimed professional or semi professional activities" and "the degree of organization of a profession or semi profes sion" (26). Barber and Goode's respective definitions of a profession can be summarized similarly: (1) a system of specialized training and knowledge, including but not limited to training orientation and development of a professional community with recogn ition and expertise; (2) a system of rewards (monetary and honorary), including but not limited to promotions and pay; (3) a degree of autonomy over conditions (Barber, as cited in Jackson 1970: 24 25; Goode, as cited in Jackson 1970: 24). Considering the literature discussed above, several issues associated with corrections can be raised in response to these areas of concern. Firstly, Jurik and Mosheno (1986) suggest that even college educated COs may not be trained adequately to meet demands of policy cha nges. All the same time, Poole and Pogrebin (1988) suggest that the development of the career line corrections officer has brought more specialized training at least more effective than previously seen within jails. The separation of corrections from law e nforcement in sheriff's departments has also seen distinctive certification processes, a characteristic of a semi profession.


31 Meanwhile, the emergence of a correctional community that might share recognition and knowledge appears limited to administrators (i.e. Sheriffs Associations, etc.) and academics (i.e. criminal justice periodicals, etc.). In relation and secondly, external recognition and a system of rewards are notably absent in corrections although pay has increased for COs (Clear and Cole 1997). T he hostile relationship existing between COs and administrators described by much of the literature suggests limited promotional opportunities. Thirdly, as unionized government employees, COs do appear to have a monopoly over activities within correctional facilities yet still lack the kind of autonomy or respected expertise associated with professionalism, partly due to the hierarchal nature of sheriff's departments and departments of corrections that discourages and prevents discourse between workers. Asi de from unionization which only includes low rank deputies in the case of sheriff's departments COs have developed very little organization as a profession. In his study of teachers, librarians, and social workers, Etzioni (1969) characterizes semi profess ionals as trained and certified occupational groups that have no t yet achieved full professional status. Corrections officers and perhaps also police seem to fit into this category. Although their training has improved, their pay has increased, and their u nion membership is high, several hurdles have stood in the way of professional development: (1) Although recipients of specialized training, this is inadequate in that no realistic or operational theory or technique has emerged outside of restraint oriente d management styles, from which even correctional administrations would like to move away. (2) Despite having a monopoly over guarding prisoners, COs


32 have not developed much cohesive organization or autonomy over conditions. (3) COs are not publicly respec ted or recognized. Differences exist between literature about professionalism in sociology and officer professionalization in public policy and criminal justice. Many of the authors I have discussed who researched COs ( or LEOs ) argue for what they view as appropriate and successful professionalization of these fields that might materialize through improved inmate services, etc. In sociological literature, professionalization is viewed as a phenomenon in which an occupation transforms itself into a professi on characterized by integrity, expertise, and efficiency distinguishing laypeople from professionals. R esearchers of criminal justice know that thi s phenomenon cannot happen over night, especially considering the impediments of poor public image and low ad ministrative attention or interest. Consequently, these authors' approach seems justified.


33 METHODS OF THIS STUDY The research for this project truly began when I worked in the Southwest County Jail for a branch of the county court system not for the So uthwest County Sheriff's Department earlier in my undergraduate career. Although I gathered no specific data, I observed and noted phenomena that I would not have discovered only by interviewing COs. My experience also allowed more fruitful data gathering and more knowledgeable analysis through the interview method. To be specific, all data I describe based on jail operations and different COs' day to day responsibilities and movement comes from my experience working there. I strived to keep these reports o bjective and all of these facts are confirmed and developed by participants. The Population and the Participants Semi structured interviews were used to gather the qualitative data in this study. The population is corrections deputies in the Southwest Co unty Jail (about one to two hundred men and women). Twenty members of this population participated in this study. Recruiting Participants Deputies were asked to participate in one hour interviews in which they would share their thoughts on their jobs and c areer. Afterwards, these participants were asked if they knew of any other deputies who might be interested in participating. They either provided contact information for these potential participants or asked for it from them directly and later forwarded i t to me. Using this snowball method, I had little difficulty gathering participants, as I had worked as a civilian in the jail for a year or so and made


34 many friendly acquaintances prior to undertaking this thesis. Many deputies remembered me as a sociolog y student and were eager to give some insight into their professional experiences. Sample Demographics I gathered pre interview background information (such as age, sex, racial ethnicity, length of employment in the corrections bureau, and shift and area of jail worked) in order to determine if I was finding a representative sample of my population. Inclusion and Exclusion Rationales Officers in the sheriff's corrections bureau above the rank of deputy (i.e. sergeants, lieutenants, captains, commanders, e tc.) were excluded from this study for several reasons. Firstly, those of higher rank would be warier of speaking with a researcher and such apprehension would surely politicize their responses, skewing the data. Furthermore, these men and women do not con stitute a large portion of the bureau, as deputies, who are "in the trenches," do. Officers above the deputy rank, though they oversee personnel management, are not those who must directly run the day to day procedures of the jail. Qualitative and Quanti tative Data Deputies' trust from prior experience with me as a co worker who was not affiliated with the Southwest County Sheriff's Department resulted in more candor during interviews. Knowing the volatile environment of both the jail and the department, I was more careful in the protection of my participants. I also understood much of the


35 esoteric references and CO lingo I was more capable of preparing for and conducting this research because of my work in the jail. I chose to conduct semi structured, qu alitative interviews. I determined that surveys would not be enough to explore my research question and give depth to its complexities. I also decided that structured interviews would not allow participants and me the freedom to delve into topic that might convey some of the important aspects of their experiences. Conducting Interviews Prior to undertaking any interviews, I composed a list of potential questions f or participants including probes about their working conditions, supervisor/manager expectatio ns, COs' infl uence and autonomy in the jail, and the status/respect they receive from the public and the criminal justice community. I asked them, for instance, to describe what skills are important for a CO with follow up questions, such as "How did you d evelop these skills?" etc. I audiotaped these interviews confidentially and asked for verbal consent. Analyzing Data I developed a codebook based on the common themes emerging from my data. Based on these definitions, I coded each interview. Using Microsof t Excel, I analyzed the percentages of participants exhibiting the various coded responses. I also broke responses down by groups, including shift, age, and career stage. I analyzed quantitative data about COs' shift, age, career stage, and work assignment to gage how representative my sample was. I also wanted to gather aggregate data in order to represent the backgrounds of the COs. It included information about prior


36 work experience (including corrections, law enforcement, and the military), education, s ocial class b ackground, place of origin, etc. All of this is discussed in the following chapter.


37 REPRESENTING THE SAMPLE: COS' AGES, SHIFTS, CAREER STAGE, W ORK ASSIGNMENTS, AND PRIOR EXPERIENCE The sample grew to tap several important dimensions along which the experiences of COs vary exhibiting many of the trends apparent in the population, especially along shift lines. Shift % of sample Work Assignment % of sample Day 37% Intake 25% Middle 16% Linear 11% Night 47% Direct 5% "split" 58% C areer Stage % of sample Age Group % of sample early career (0 3y) 26% young (18 27) 26% mid career (4 6y) 58% middle (28 37) 37% experienced (7y+) 16% older (38+) 37% Representation of Shifts and Work Assignments Hours and Responsibilities of Shif ts Jail shifts are divided into day, middle, and night shifts. The day shift operates from the early morning until the early evening, while the night shift picks up in the early evening until the early morning. Meanwhile, the middle shift is a small number of deputies who work from the early afternoon to halfway through the night. They work exclusively in intake and female population. 1 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This table excludes a work crew deputy who was interviewed. See work assignment section for explanation. 1 Although all COs can theoretically handle female inmates, including arrestees, the Department prefers women to guard and process women. Most female COs split their time between intake and female population in order to manage these women nearly exclusively. Some female COs are assigned to areas of the facility that only house male populations, but the majority of each shift's women work this intake female population split.


38 Day shift officers appear to have more responsibilities than night. They feed inmates all three meals (with middle shift of ficers assisting in the third). They bring inmates to in facility programs and process them for bailiffs to transport them to local court dates. They also transport inmates to other facilities more often than night shift COs, though regular transportation between detention facilities in other jurisdictions is assigned to specific "transport" officers. These day deputies often referenced the constant "needs" of the inmates. Middle shift COs, who work exclusively in intake and with females, are probably the b usiest of any officers processing arrestees and newly transported inmates into the jail, releasing inmates from the facility, feeding the last meal of the day, reintegrating inmates from the courthouse, etc. The hours they work are also the busiest for arr ests. By the time night officers arrive, inmates are only awake for a few more hours. Middle shift officers work through peak arrest hours so, unless intake is especially hectic, no night shift officers work there until the former shift ends and peak hour s have passed. Thus, the night shift officer's job consists of patrolling population prisoners on "lockdown" for the night and processing inmates arrested in the middle of the night. At the end of the day and middle shifts, these departing COs are often in a mad rush to hand off the tasks they are performing such as feeding and arrestee intake, to incoming officers. Meanwhile, night COs are typically found waiting patiently for the next crew at their early morning end. The inherent boredom of nocturnal ope rations is palpable. When I asked one night CO if he was expected to be a rehabilitator, he responded, "I'm expected to sign logs."


39 He went on to explain, however, that he considered himself a rehabilitator, but I quickly sensed his sarcasm. I don't give up on my inmates. They all just need a little counseling ( referring to corp oral/verbal punishment ). I'll keep counseling them again and again until they get it. This comeback highlighted the more violent nature of the night officer's work. Their interact ion with inmates in both intake and population is much more likely to be turbulent. Once population inmates are on lockdown, COs only open up the cells if inmates indicate that they are experiencing medical difficulties or if a fight is going on. In intake arrestees are much more likely to be intoxicated and aggressive during these hours. One mid career and age officer from this shift explained the difference: We work twelve hour shifts, twelve hours with the inmates. Even though at nighttime, lockdown i s after ten, I mean, you constantly have some sort of contest. It can get so physical For these reasons, the night shift is inherently more adversarial. Of my participants, 37% worked during the day shift, 16% middle, and 47% night. To achieve a more re presentative sample, I would have liked to have 42 43% come from the day and night shifts, respectively. In order to compensate for this disparity, I refer to my data in group divisions by shift, rather than trying to make a somewhat imbalanced sample refl ect my population. The distinct differences between night and day shift data also calls for distinct analysis. COs' Work Assignments Jails must conduct both intake of arrestees and supervision of already processed inmates in population. The latter provides two types of management styles: linear supervision (COs patrolling cell blocks) and direct supervision (COs patrolling and


40 interacting with inmates in open pods). Many deputies are assigned to one of these three posts with the exception of some females an d night shift COs (see footnote 1 ). Night shift COs often alternate between night population patrol and intake duties. Several hours after the night shift starts, the inmates in both linear and direct supervision "go on lockdown," during which time they are locked up in their cells for the night. Consequently, fewer COs are needed to patrol population and, there fore, many night COs shift work assignment after lockdown, especially to intake but to also to other wings depending on need. Thus, unlike the day s hift that works one assignment exclusively, the night shift moves officers as needed, as many female officers do during all shifts. I categorized both of these groups as "split" rather than simply "linear supervision," "direct supervision," or "intake." I also interviewed one CO who worked exclusively with an inmate work crew. These COs have very different responsibilities and relationship with inmates. Inmates must qualify with good behavior, the type of charges they face or for which they are serving tim e, and low likelihood of escape attempt in order to serve on work crews, which operate in or outside of the jail. COs and inmates must work together to complete jobs, such as road work, prisoner food services, cleaning of the jail facility, etc. While all COs have worked intake and both supervision styles in population in order to complete their training, few COs have run work crews. Based on my experience with this participant and other work crew deputies, I determined that this data would skew my results if I analyzed it along with the other deputies'. I decided to analyze this work crew CO's interview separately and I will discuss it in my analysis and conclusions.


41 I was unable to achieve a sample that accurately reflected the work assignments of my popu lation. Deputies who work "splits" between population and intake constitute the largest group of both my sample and population. I did, however, interview significantly more intake deputies (26% of sample) than deputies assigned to linear (11%) and direct ( 5%) supervision. I should note, however, that all officers have had to work all three work assignments prior to corrections certification as part of their post academy training. Furthermore, all day shift deputies have worked in at last one type of populat ion supervision full time during their assignment to the day or nigh shift. All night officers have worked for some time in population, but, as aforementioned, nighttime supervision is a much different job. 2 I had hoped to make some conclusions about the d ifferences between officers working in linear supervision, direct supervision, and intake. Because I did not find enough participants from each group, I did not. Considering the experiences of many COs working all assignments, however, a representative sam ple might not demonstrate such varying results. Career Stage and Age Comparing Ages of the Three Shifts The population of COs working the Southwest County Jail was reflective of the ol der age of the many coastal areas in south Florida. Of the sample, depu ties over 38 constituted almost 37%. Likewise, deputies in the "middle group" aged 28 to 27 were !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2 I should also note here that about 67% of participants wit h prison experience worked at night so their experience working throughout the day in prison population supervision should be considered. This is discussed further later in this chapter.


42 almost 37% of the sample. Lastly, "young" COs aged 18 to 27 represented a little over 26% of the sample. During the day shift, 71% of the COs were 28 or older All the officers working during the middle shift were of this age. In the night shift, 68% were from the two oldest age groups: 33% of the officers were aged 18 to 27, 44% 28 to 37, and 22% older than 38. The day shift did not have a great deal of "young or "middle" deputies, but the majority of deputies (57%) in the sample were 38 or older. The majority of the middle shift consisted of mostly "middle" ages with 66%. The night shift also had mostly "middle" deputies (44%), but their second largest age gr oup was "young" and constituted 33%, more than the young percentage of the other two shifts. Furthermore, 60% of the "young" officers did work during this night shift. Also, of the 40% that worked during the day shift, 20% were trainees who would be transf erred to the night shift before the end of the year. A percentage of young and/or early career COs in training are always present in the day shift and are replaced with the passing of each academy year. This may cause the shift to possess a number of young and/or inexperienced COs that skews its apparent demographics. This is discussed further in the below section concerning career stages. Therefore, the night shift has the largest and yearly replenished chunk of officers aged 18 to 27. The second largest chunk of officers of an age group concentrated in one shift was the oldest group: 57% of officers 38 or older worked during the day. This placement of the majority of this demographic in the day shift is accurate and the percentage is approximate.


43 Officers in the "middle" age group were under represented in my study when the sample is compared to my data on the population. Population data suggests that they constitute the majority of the COs and are spread fairly evenly across the shifts. As discussed in th e following section, this age group is harder to characterize. While the majority of the "young" COs are often early in the career and "older" COs are often more experienced in their career, COs in the "middle" age group are spread across career experience s in a way that causes difficult y in characteriz ing their jail/correctional experience. Therefore, the factor most strongly correlated with these participants' career stage and many of participants' responses discussed later is shift. Comparing Career Stag es of the Three Shifts In my analysis, I categorized COs into career stages based on the number of years they had worked in the jail: "early" (three years or less), "mid" (four to six years), and "experienced" (seven years or more). About 26% of my partici pants were "early" in their careers, 58% "mid," and 16% "experienced." I determined this to be a representative sample of my population: The majority of COs is mid career. Career data also helps shape the pictures of each shift. Day shift. Almost three qu arters of the day shift is mid career, while early and experienced group split the difference with the latter group taking the slightly higher percentage. About half of mid career COs work days and almost half of all mid and experi enced COs work during the day. Notably, all of the day shift COs who were early in their careers were also still in training under the aegis of experienced training deputies. No training officers work at


44 night so all training takes place during the day shift. 3 Once training is com pleted, these new, inexperienced COs must move to the night shift. Due to their low seniority, they have no choice what shift they will work. Although these new officers' interviews offered responses that were often in alignment with other COs' responses, especially within the day shift, I think it prudent to point out that their presence skews my "career stage" percentages to show the day shift having more early career COs than are permanently assigned to it. In fact, these participants only remained a par t of this group for another month or two before the completion of their training and reassignment to the night shift. Since these trainees were still sheriff's corrections deputies albeit not yet fully train ed and some number of trainees always exist durin g the day shift throughout the year, I decided to include them in my sample. Middle shift. The middle intake shift is made up of mostly mid career COs and about one third early career COs. This latter group often consists of mainly females, as they are a n ecessary part of intake and only a female CO would be able to work outside of the night shift early in her career. Meanwhile, mid career COs often opt for the middle shift because they have enough "time in" to withdraw from nights but not enough to work du ring the day. Also, some prefer this shift to waking up at abnormal hours and working half the day. Night shift The majority of the night shift, like the other two, is mostly mid career: about 44%. About one third are COs early in their careers, while abo ut one fifth are "experienced." Whereas about one third of mid career COs worked nights, almost two thirds of early career COs worked during this night shift. One of the most important !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 3 No training officers work at night, presumably because they use the ir senior status to attain the desired day shift.


45 aspects of the night shift's work experience is that unlike day and mi ddle shift C O s, almost everyone on the night shift and at least all of my participants from the night shift have never been permanently assigned to another shift. Although every deputy has been trained during the day, only the day shift workers have been in the course of their careers been permanently assigned to both day and night hours. Middle shift workers are of more mixed experience: All have been night shift workers and some have previously been assigned to both night and day. Consequently, night shi ft workers have the least experience in different shifts. Later on in this chapter, I will discuss how participants have characterized these shifts as like "night and day." Prior Work Experience Many COs of various demographics described previous jobs as in construction or food services. Several early and mid career COs reported jobs as security guards. Two older, mid career COs reported working as a mechanic and an employee in a special needs school, respectively. Another had been a truck driver. One olde r, mid career CO even had an administrative position in a non for profit. Consistent with many other studies, most participants reported coming to the department in search of job security. Older COs were more likely to report corrections as a "second caree r" they had taken in order to secure retirement benefits. Older and more experienced officers, who were concentrated in but not exclusive to the day shift, were more likely to report a previous career outside of corrections, law enforcement, or the militar y. Night shift officers were more likely to report experience in one of the aforementioned fields. Day shift officers were more likely to report working in


46 a non corrections, law enforcement, or military field prior to the jail. Night shift officers were more likely to have college credit if not a degree. The majority of my night participants had attended college if not received a degree; less than a quarter of day participants had. While officers throughout the shifts reported military experience, night shift officers who were statistically younger and earlier in their careers were more likely to report having served in the armed forces within the last five years and also to have applied for positions in the Sheriff's Department immediately following mili tary careers. More than other participants, deputies with military experience stressed the importance of exhibiting confidence and taking pride in appearance. Many COs claimed administrators lacked leadership skills and these military COs were also signif icantly more likely to make this claim. Most participants reported departmental favoritism towards patrol and poor deputy administration relations, suggesting that Pogrebin and Poole's findings that COs suffer from lower status in the department and commun ity have persisted. My participants with military experience, however, put a unique perspective on the mistreating not just deputies but corrections deputies. [Many view] corrections as the stepchild of the department. It's sad because we're all deputies f or the sheriffIn the [Marines], if you're a cook or a mechanic, not matter what you do in the Marine Corps, you're still a Marine. When we go to war, I'm going to need you to fix my car or to feed me The placement of former prison guards is also of inte rest. About three quarters of COs who reported working in state or federal prisons prior to their current county facility were assigned to the night shift. 4 Half of these COs were new to the jail, but the other half was the oldest and most experienced depu ties on the night shift. These former prison !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4 No participant or anyone I know in the population had prior experience in jails.


47 guards volunteered that they deliberately declined to use their seniority to switch to days, as most of the colleagues in their "time in" bracket had because of the "politics of the other shift." These participa nts reported that they were less likely to "take things lightly" than others COs and they were concerned about working with "useless" new officers. According to the participants, due to the threat of physical violence, prison guards are more likely to stic k to procedure and be firm with inmates. They were some of the only night shift officers to express concern for the youth and inexperience of their squad. 5 These experienced, former prison COs also voiced an inability to work in other fields. If I had kno wn, I wouldn't have become a corrections officer at all. But once you've done it, you don't want to do anything else. That "nice" thing, I don't have it anymore. I can't deal with people except in here. They attributed their "craziness" to their many year s in corrections: of inmates looking for points of weakness, especially in the prison environment. You have to keep yourself separated in this line of work. You're under the microscope all day long. Inmates sit there and watch you. They don't have anything else to do. You start to allow certain things to slide, they will take advantage of you. This job is more mental than anything else. There's no decent way to deal with it. It can change in the blink of an eye. You can be getting into a fight, then be back on the floor five minutes later feeding. And you're expected to act normal. These experienced, prison trained COs on the night shift were also some of the only participants to discuss the serious consequences of corrections related stress. They voiced th e need for mental health and support programs for COs. Participants whose corrections experience was solely at the jail characterized their imbalanced or professionally !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 The only other night participant who voiced concern was a mid career CO in their age bracket without prison experience.


48 terminated co workers as "trashy," "crazy," "desperate," or victims of administrative h ostility. I observed that those with prison experience even those in earlier in their careers recognized the inherent stress of the job and also a more professional career view of the field, while others explained the same phenomena on case by case basis. Furthermore, while former prison COs sought employment as jail COs because these jobs were in the same field as their previous, other participants joined the department merely in search of a job with security or as a "stepping stone" to a career in law enf orcement. Both groups, however, cited many of the same reasons for initially entering the field. Notably, though many older COs voiced that they preferred their current jobs over their previous, former prison guards uniformly reported this. Of this group, only COs who worked exclusively in intake complained that, as one told me, although the jail had less intense, planned violence than prison, "You never know what to expect when somebody comes in the door off the street."


49 THE FINDINGS: COS DISCUSS INMATE MANAGEMENT, CO WORKERS, AND THE JOB The two groups COs interact with are inmates and co workers (fellow deputies and administrators). These groups and COs' relationships with them greatly affect how easy or hard their jobs are day to day. The public and its perception of the jail also have a huge effect on operations. All of these groups and interactions shape the organization of the facility throughout the day and night and how the COs must go about doing their job. Patterns manifested along COs' discuss ion of these groups and their relationships with them. Managing Inmates: Participants' Characterization of the Role of the CO The participants characterized their job and an individual's ability to perform it as complex. The most prominent themes COs volu nteered were (1) that COs need to be adaptable and (2) that oral/verbal communication is a vital interpersonal skill. Participants later in their careers and older in their years were more likely to emphasize these themes. The s hift participants worked, ho wever, seemed to be the most important factor in many responses relating to inmates. Adaptability and Consistency Over a third of COs in the mid career and the experienced groups, respectively, voiced the need for adaptability, while no participants in the early career group did. Almost half of COs in the "older" age group emphasized this trait, along with almost a quarter of the "middle" age group; about 14% of the youngest age group did. The largest


50 group that demonstrated a preference for this characteri stic was the day shift with almost 60% of these workers. Only a third of the middle shift was coded thusly and 10% of the night shift. The theme of adaptability often emerged when COs were describing the impossibility of applying the same formula to every situation. They also cited the varying of protocol with different managers in heightening salience of change, but also depending on the inmate. The issue of administrative presence also emerged. One day shift officer who was older and mid career told me: I don't think a book of rules can be written to cover everything. You have to use your integrity to make the best decision for the people involvedThe rules change depending on your immediate sergeant or lieutenant. There is inconsistency. When you walk in, you wonder, "What am I doing today?" A night shift officer of the same demographics remarked: 90% of the time [I go "by the book"] and 10% I go by my best judgment. That 10%, though, can really make a difference on how easy you make your jobYou make it harder if you lack people skills. One young, early career night shift officers said: If you follow things totally by the book, things won't get done. Different people come in here that need to be dealt with in different ways. Naturally, responses emerged regarding how "flexible" COs should be. Almost three quarters of participants were coded as voicing the importance of being firm and consistent with inmates. Inconsistency, they said, is a security risk. One mid age, experienced night shift CO explained the most stressful aspect of managing inmates: If you don't get backing from supervisors. If you feel an inmate is doing something wrong, sometimes they just say, "Oh, let it be." You tell an inmate something and they [supervisors] tell them something else I tell them they can't


51 get their toilet paper until everybody does. Then a lieutenant walks by and they ask him, and he gives it to emThey're not going to listen to me after that. He went on to say: You have to treat everybody the same. Some guys say "Oh, this guy's only a misdemeanor, but this guy's a felony." But that makes them not pay as much attention to safety issues. The guy may be here for driving on a suspended [license], but he may have committed dangerous felonies in the pa s t that he came here for or he never got caught for. Others concurred that both staff and inmates could use inconsistency "against you." One middle shift, mid age, and mid career CO said: I try to follow the rules as best I can. It can be a slippery slope. You can see it as human kindness, but someone else can see it as an opportunity to screw you over. Many COs, especially older and more experienced ones, recognized that confidence and consistency greatly assisted COs in management. One older and experienced CO said: Consistency is the most important thing. I once had an itty bitty training sergeant who couldn't have been more than five and a half feet tall, but he could walk up to two inmates fighting and just stare them down. And they would stopRespect carries a lot of weight. It gets you through the day. The majority of each shift emphasized consistency, but percentages increased significantly the later in the day COs worked. Sources of blame for inconsistency varied somewhat depending on shift as well. Day shift o fficers complained that managers and administrators all had different styles that affected how COs operated under their constant and changing supervision. Middle shift officers worked with the most different squads and supervisors so, as one such CO remark ed, "You muddle your way through because the administration's always changing its mind." Night shift COs agreed that those of higher rank interfered with consistent management, but were more likely to charge the day shift as a whole with coddling inmates, enforcing rules inconsistently, and, therefore, making the latter shift's job harder. About 67% of the night shift participants overtly


52 characterized the day shift as "soft" and, thus, creating security risks. The acrimony between these two shifts is discu ssed later under "Dealing With Co Workers and Administrators." "People Skills" The majority of COs in most group categories volunteered the importance of oral/verbal communication in COs' day to day operations, but data still slanted towards older, more ex perienced COs and also day workers. All experienced COs responded thusly, along with 60% of mid career, and 51% of early career COs. All "older" COs went into this category as well with about 40% of each of the other age groups. Finally, 71% of the day, 67 % of the middle, and 56% of the night shift voiced this belief. Many participants admitted that communication was a skill they had to develop at the jail. One mid career and mid age night CO said in response to a question about the most important skills t o have: Definitely communication, knowing how to learn. One thing I've learned in this job is how to talk to people, especially inmates. It's so different to talk to a friend or a family member than to talk to an inmate. You know, a lot of these people are from the streets, they're not very educated, so that's one of the best skills. Some things get you in trouble, you now, talking down to inmates. It's one of the best skills you learn in the jail, how to talk to people. Officers often brought up personal interactions when comparing their jobs with that of LEOs and many considered their jobs harder for that reason. Several officers pointed out that while LEOs have weapons such as guns, COs only have their "two fists and mouth," referring to defensive tactic s and communication skills. In describing the distinct skill sets of COs and LEOs, o ne officer told me, "My dad is a retired police sergeant from up North and he says, "I c ouldn't do you job." One younger night shift CO early in his career remarked:


53 Our [j ob] is probably more dangerous. We're around more guilty people. That's your job is criminals. You deal with a criminal maybe an hour on the road. In here, I'm dealing with at least eight hundred my whole shift. These skills also consist of the ability to read people, especially according to more experienced COs. Almost all COs stressed the importance of discretion and judgment. Day, older, and more experienced deputies were more likely to stress "patience," "respect," and "integrity." A day shift CO of mi d career and older age explained: The badge doesn't [make a good deputy]. It's not, "I'm bigger or tougher than you." It's the personality, the ability to listen and to interactIt's always business, never personal. And you should know the difference betwe en the truth and being suckered. Younger, less experienced officers, especially on the latter shift, were more likely to characterize the skills of reading people and judgment as being able to "understand the criminal mind." This distinction in views of inmates is discussed further in the following section. Relationships With Inmates Most COs recognized the complexity of managing inmates and the diversity of personalities and backgrounds among them. About half of the sample was coded as exhibiting empathy for inmates, while only a quarter exhibited outright disdain. About half named inmate care as a paramount responsibility of the job and half also claimed that they had positive interactions with inmates. Although I did not get enough officers who worked p rimarily in population to make substantial claims, I think it was significant that these population COs were much more likely to be coded in these latter categories and exhibit empathy. Only day shift officers could be categorized to work in population, bu t night shift officers who claimed to work more in linear and/or direct supervision assignments appeared to exhibit slightly more empathy.


54 Categories of positive interactions increased with age and career stage. Again, shift was a much more determinant fa ctor. Day shift officers, especially those older in age, more experienced, and also working more in population, were more likely to exhibit empathy and positive interaction categories. Several reflected on the ease of ending up in jail. One older, mid care er day CO told me: I think every CO should spend one night in the jail and experience that solitude and desperation. A lot of the COs have done a lot of the same things [that inmates have], but we weren't caught. It would help us to see the other sides of those barsWe are not their punishment, sentenced or not. Even day COs who displayed some disdain to both staff and prisoners often remarked that they got along better with the latter group. Such feelings may come from the sense that dealings with inmates are expected to be hostile, while co workers are supposed to be allies. Therefore, positive interactions with inmates may appear more salient for these officers The night shift differed significantly: A third of the night shift displayed disdain for inma tes. While almost all participants voiced the difficulty of inmate rehabilitation, almost a quarter of night COs made remarks equating violence with rehabilitation. While three quarters of the day shift emphasized care as CO responsibility, less than a qua rter of the night did. Only a little over 10% reported having good relations with inmates. One young, early career night officer told me: I don't go to work looking for a fight, but sometimes I'm just not in the mood. I don't really like touching them [inm ates]. A lot of them are dirty. [ In reference to always wearing latex gloves ] Gotta keep clean. Middle shift COs fell somewhere in the middle and were more likely to recognize the more difficult nature of their assignment to intake. Like day shift officer s, they were


55 more likely to verbalize the inherently unreceptive and antagonistic nature of officer inmate relations. One mid age and career CO on the middle shift observed: They [inmates] don't hear anything you tell them. It 's this adversarial relations hip. Like this phone system out here [that arrestees use in intake]. I hate th ese phones. You explain to somebody how to use them a hundred times and they don't hear it. But you put them in a cell with pedophile thieves and they give them their absolute at tention, listen to their words like it's Gospel. And they learn how to use the phone. At the same time, these statistical trends are not without complications. One night officer, who was firmly coded in all of the categories consistent with lacking empat hy and positive interactions with inmates, expressed disappointment that COs were discouraged from having more positive effects on inmates' lives: They [administrators] don't want us to be [rehabilitators]. The word corrections is kind of an oxymoronWe're not supposed to talk to inmates once they're on the outside. You can get in trouble for trying to help them. It's stupidI've gotten guys [former inmates] jobs before. I know the difference between good people and criminals. Many COs in the ir mid career or later may have negated the possibility of rehabilitation, but explained their frustration after trying to help inmates. One day, mid career and age officer described how a young inmate whom he had been trying to help reacted when told he was going to b e transferred out of the mental health block. The other guys in the cell told him [the young inmate] that he'd get the shit beaten out of him [in general population] and he was like, "If you put me there, Rodgers I'll kill myself." So now he has to get r eevaluated. And I tell him, "I've been in this bitch [the jail] for six years and you're gonna listen to this asshole who's in and out of here every other day over me? I could've helped you if you left [mental health block]." I shouldn't have cared. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Names changed to ensure confidentiality.


56 Offi cers who said they didn't try to help inmates often cited departmental discouragement and complained that their skills were not valued in jail operations, especially inmate management. One mid career, mid age night CO explained: It's like a win lose situat ion. They say, "Yeah, you can make a judgment."If it's a good judgment, you get a pat on the backIf it's a bad [judgment], it's not like, [the administration says], "Hey, you made a mistake. Let's not do it again. Next time, consult with supervisor." [In stead], they're like, "Hey, guess what. You've got a couple days off now" [ referring to suspension ]They're not backing you upThat's part of why people don't want to do any job above and beyond. Considering almost all participants voiced the importance o f CO judgment and discretion, these kinds of responses show the complexity of making decisions on inmate management. Participants said that they would like to be given more freedom in judgment, but cannot exercise discretion. Security vs. Care Nearly all p articipants recognized the dual nature of COs' job as caregiver and security guard. Which role they gave more thought to was clear also. Given the participants' job description, I was not surprised to find that many more deputies gave precedence to securit y over care. Predictably, the most important division came between shifts. The day shift was split between these two preferences with a slight bias towards care. Meanwhile, each participant in the other two shifts gave preference to control and security. T he likelihood of emphasizing care grew with more years of age and experience and female officers were more likely to be placed in this category, but shift had a much greater effect. A response characteristic of the day shift that was coded as emphasizing c are was this one in response to a question of what makes a good deputy:


57 You make sure that all people are taken care of. The idea of care is as big as the outdoors. But if an inmate is sitting in his cell crying, it is your responsibility to find out why. These participants were more likely to characterize inmates as failed by society, in need of programs, and/ or guilty of mistakes that many people make. This experienced day officer shared how COs could be better prepared for the job: For people to sit dow n and realize that these inmates didn't wake up one day and want to be criminals. Something had to happen to them in their childhoodThe inmates are so mad when they come in. Such respondents were also more likely to point out the impossibility of trainin g such compassion through the department and were also more likely to be coded in other categories emphasizing experience, integrity, and patience as positive officer attributes. These officers were more likely to report that they were more open minded tha n their co workers. All day officers, whether emphasizing security or care, were more likely to report being more open minded than other officers Still, day officers who emphasized security often made a point of associating it with care and the mutual saf ety of guard and prisoner, as one young, inexp erienced day shift officer said, reflecting a training and day shift philosophy: You have to work positively with other peopleLike we're all programmed to say, "Care, custody, and control." We make sure every one is safe. Just treat them like people. [The most stressful aspect of managing inmates is] when you get one you can't talk to, so you have to use physical force. Although middle and night officers were more likely to emphasize security, the responses of security oriented officers varied between middle and night. One middle shift CO remarked: I don't take the chances that other people do. I don't think they realize what some of these guys are capable of[The public] think we can wail on people whenever. W e're more docile babysitters.


58 Night officers appeared to be harsher in inmate relations and also on COs who did not treat inmates with firmness, as one younger, early career night officer demonstrates in response to a question of what make a good officer: A spine. Some of these guys have lost their man cards, if you know what I'm saying. [Our role] is care, custody, and control. But some people don't have the balls for control. Not all security oriented responses, however, were negative. Some emphasized t he importance of vigilance in performing both care and control related duties, such as "awareness of surroundings," especially officers mid career or experienced. Control was associated with "doing a good job." One mid age and career night CO responded: Everybody has their own personal ways to do their own job, but I believethe type of job that we do is to maintain and control the inmates, keep always a good visual, keep always alert, make sure you do your duties above and beyond whatever's necessary to do. These respondents named physical fitness, alertness, and professional dedication as a part of security. Many of the security oriented participants, especially during this latter shift, overtly associated lack of control with older, day shift COs. This data is discussed further in the following section. Dealing With Co Workers and Administrators Participants characterized the jail as innately stressful. As one CO with prison experience explained: There's no closure in corrections. You're just dealing w ith broken people and broken lives. That's the job.


59 Many, however, pointed out that co workers could be just as stressful and "out to get you" as inmates. Day shift and mid career officers were much more likely to report this. One younger, mid career day shift officer remarked: Deputies are either afraid to tell how they actually feel and they kiss ass, or you have the ones who aren't afraid and then they get black balled for the rest of their careersYou're constantly watching your back instead of doing your job. Consistent with other correctional studies, all participants were coded as characterizing relations between deputies and administrators as hostile. Some COs, mostly older ones, said that although they had never been "picked on," they recognized how tough relations could be. Others described the great variance from individual to individual, as this older, experienced day CO did: Some supervisors will [give credit for doing a good job], some won't. It's just like being in school. Teachers have pet s. If you're not the supervisor's pet, there's no point in beating your head against the wall. Other day shift officers expressed extreme frustration with administrative relationships and/or blame this hostility for staffing problems, as this mid career, mid age one did: I feel like a stepson, like an unwanted stepson. They want to make us do all the chores, but get none of the love. It's not like some other law enforcement agencies or the military. There's no brotherhood in here like there is out there. I 've only got one or two other guys I could really trust, who I'd take a bullet forAnd they [administrators] wonder why they can't keep people [working here]. Some day officers saw the animosity as so "real" that many could not even trust other deputies. Meanwhile, night shift COs were more likely to describe administrative relations as more distant, while they valued their work with other deputies. This shift was always more likely to point out the upside of light administrative supervision, as this youn ger, early career CO did:


60 You never see the Sheriff in here. Our sergeants and lieutenants on our shift are great. I don't see much of the rest of the administration. I like it. We have more freedom to do our job. Older officers and/or those in the experi enced phase of their careers on the night shift offered a different perspective. One with an extensive non government career prior to the jail said: The last thing [administrators] want to do is be in the jail. [ How does this affect your work? ] No, no t me. It affects the younger guys more than the older guys. The older guys know that other places other jobs are a lot worse. An experienced night CO remarked: They [administrators] could [make it easier if they would] come around more, ask questions more ofte n, listen. A lot of our problems are easy to fixBut corrections is more retroactive than proactive. That's its biggest problem. They don't worry about us until there's an escape or an officer, or an inmate, gets hurt. I've seen that I don't know how many times. These older, more experienced officers were more likely to show less hostility than their day counterparts, actually asking for administrative attention. 6 Day officers seemed to have "tried that" and wanted to distance themselves from the administ ration as much as possible. Day shift officers were three times as likely as night shift to complain that they were prevented from helping inmates and/or punishment and/or discouraged for creativity. Day COs were also more likely to say they did not get cr edit for doing a good job, while night COs said they only got credit from co workers and managers (sergeants and sometimes lieutenants ). Day officers were slightly more likely to say that administrators interfered with inmate management and that they cause d mistrust and low m oral/verbal e among COs. All of the shifts displayed similar levels of the sentiment that !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 6 The se participants were also the only night COs to lament lacking training officers on their shift.


61 no leaders worked in the administration, although those with military experience were more likely to express this. Night COs did articulate concern s about the department, but were much more likely to direct them at administrators over co workers. Night officers were also twice as likely to accuse the administration of favoring LEOs over COs. This complaint was especially prominent among younger, mor e inexperienced deputies. On the night shift, former members of the armed services were more critical of administrators than other night officers, especially in terms of law enforcement favoritism, as was this deputy explaining the difference between the j obs of road versus corrections deputies: A vehicle and an administration with a spineA vehicle would be nice. But an administration with spine would be even nicer. That would be the cat's meow, my friend[The other difference is] you can have tattoos on t he road [ referring to a new policy forcing COs with tattoos on their lower arms to wear long sleeved uniforms ]. We said, "Hey, the road guys can have tattoos." And they said, "Hey this is the jail. Cover it up." [ laughs ] These participants more widely rep orted ambitions to transfer to patrol, while by mid career more officers reported they had forgotten such dreams because the department "would never let [them] out of the jail." Several complained that the department recruited corrections officers, telling them that the jail was a "stepping stone" to law enforcement, but then never allows such transfers. Others said that other agencies would hire them for patrol, but the officers could not handle the pay cut that would require, as they would give up their s eniority at the new agency. COs who successfully moved to patrol did so principally through changing agencies (and taking this pay cut). Day shift officers, especially those mid career, were more likely to say they felt "stuck in the department" because se niority gave them more money than they could earn elsewhere and because co workers made work tedious. Day officers were also less likely


62 than night to consider themselves "professionals," but younger, less experienced, and night officers were more likely. Day COs were twice as likely to characterize co workers as unprofessional (i.e. gossipy, careless, vindictive, etc). While night shift COs were more likely to characterize co workers as not helping one another and causing unsafe inconsistency with inmates, this was almost always directed at the day shift rather than their direct night co workers whom they often characterized positively. These officers often characterized "working as a team" as more professional. Brotherhood of Officers: Day Shift "Softies" and Night Shift "Cowboys" With this given, day shift officers not surprisingly express disappointment in the jail lacking "brotherhood" more than their night counterparts. While about half of the night shift said that they trusted their own "squad" of dep uties and/or sergeants and make distinctions of sergeants from the administration, no officers on the day shift did and they were more likely to report that they trusted no one in the department. Fraternity and trust were highly correlated with security in the eyes of the participants. Day officers with more time in the jail were more likely to blame organization for eroding m oral/verbal e and, therefore, safety, as this mid career, older CO explained: It was better when we weren't all divided into wings. W hen I first started, you didn't know where you'd be working when you first came in. If you hear d someone [in another wing] calling on the radio for a floater [a free deputy] a few times, you'd go over there and help out because you knew they were understaf fed. Now they want us specialized [in different wings]. If guys hear other wings calling for help, they just say, "Oh, that's their wing." We're not a team anymore. This deputy's ideal of how the jail should be run is very much descripti ve of how the nigh t shift operates. Day officers bl amed the administration for this lack of team spirit These were usually security oriented COs who were mid career and either young or mid


63 age in category and also noted the physical weakness of older deputies as this part icipant did : I'm sick of working the day shift. I want to work with my friends [on the other shifts]. The day shift is all uptight and they won't let you do shit and they won't back you up. Some of them I won't even want to back me up. There's only a few g uys who work my shift I know who could really hold somebody down, you know? Everybody else is just slow and out of shape. If I ever saw one of them running over, I'd yell, "Go find somebody else to help me!" Like many, this CO complains of lack of brother hood, but also reflects that the older, out of shape officers on the shift might be worthless anyway. This participant recognizes that a different organizational climate exists on the night shift. Many participants who complain of lack of brotherhood appea r to believe that something in the facility has changed, which perhaps may have occurred. More likely, however, they lost their "team" when they transferred to the day shift from the night mid career, a point when they may already be seriously coming to te rms with the reality of corrections. Night officers characterized the day shift as "softies" and lacking control. Night shift officers, especially younger ones earlier in their career, were more likely not only to value the closeness of the squad, but also associate this with performing tasks more effectively and maintaining security well. That's how you grow a good, strong team. That's why I've been working nights the last three years. I've been having such a good crew. If you have a good sergeant, a good crew, you work with who [m] you trustyou feel comfortable. You can do always, you know, do more than what you're asked to. Working with that crew, I'm going to do my best to accommodate my friend so you can do a better jobI can count on them. The idealiz ation of brotherhood was not without critics. One middle shift officer expressed concern for night shift officers who were so close and characterized them in


64 terms of the kinds of destructive habits he had seen in his many years in corrections, also as a p rison guard: Some of these guys make it their whole life. It's all they think about, all their friends are cops [and COs]. But it all falls apart after awhile. It's no goodbecause there's no place to run. It's the same as habitual drug users. They can't q uit because they're hanging in all these places with all these people associated with drugs. You can't keep associating with all those things if you want to get out, if you want to get over it. Middle shift officers may have been the most adequately prepa red to compare the other two shifts, as they worked especially intake procedures with both. (Few officers tried to characterize the middle shift by itself.) They were more likely to portray night COs as reckless and "crazy" in their responses. Officers on both day and middle shifts, especially ones older and later in their careers, argued that night and/or younger COs treated inmates worse and forget their own vulnerability, as this mid career middle shift officer observed: Newer officers carry themselves differently. They forget that a lot of these guys hold jobs on the outside in restaurants and businesses and you might run into them later. [These COs] they have a superiority complex, like they're better than the inmatesBut one mistake and an officer bec omes an inmate. The majority of both the day and middle shifts characterized the night officers as "cowboys," but the middle shift, which actually worked with these COs, was more critical. Those who were coded as critical of "cowboys" used labels of "youn g" and "night" almost interchangeably, highly correlating youth and inexperience with this latter shift. Public Perception and Being Public About the Job


65 Participants uniformly reported that the public had no respect and knowledge of their profession. So me participants argued that more should be done to promote relations between the department and the community, such as public tours of the jail. Many blamed the local media for highlighting negative stories from the jail, but other praised some television programs such as American Jails for accurately portraying such facilities. These responses did not vary significantly among age groups, career stages, work assignments, or shifts. Younger, more inexperienced, and night shift COs were much more likely, how ever, to be public and proud about their jobs. Night COs were three times as likely as day to fall into this category. Young officers were 20% more likely than the mid age group and four times more likely than older COs to be coded thusly. Finally, 80% of early career officers were categorized here, versus 27% of mid career, and none of the experienced COs. This young night officer told me how people reacted when they found out he worked as a jail deputy: Actually, they're very impressed. People are like, Oh, how do you handle it? How can you be so patient?" You know, they ask me about the jobI don't mind people knowing. I like to tell people when I meet new friends or meet my wife's friends. "What does your husband do?...Oh, cool. I'd like to know about t hat." I like to inform people about exactly what we do. An older, experienced day officer shared a different reaction by new acquaintances: They kind of go, "Oh," look real uncomfortable, and change the subject. About a third of the day shift reported th at they were deliberately private about their profession. Older and more experienced COs were more likely to fit into this category. This group was also more likely to express frustration with working in a


66 correctional facility in the same community where they lived, such as this mid career day CO: I can't go anywhere or do anything without seeing some shitbag when I'm out with my family. Participants in this group often thought that night COs risked more by simultaneously treating inmates poorly and activ ely socializing in the community. This experienced, older day officer compared his encounters versus those of younger COs on the other shift. When I see inmates on the street, they say hi and all that. Some of these officers go to the bars and [local strip clubs]. That's just stupid. That's just asking for trouble One mid career day CO said of a particularly reckless night CO who was also fond of local nightlife, "One of these days, someone's going to crack his head open when he's out drunk." The older, m ore experienced day officers who desired privacy were also the group who often felt "stuck" in the department. Age and career stage were highly correlated with both these codes and also with shift. Still, shift seemed to play an important role in COs' leve l of professional pride.


67 TWO SHIFTS, TWO JAILS: ANALYSIS OF THE FINDINGS THAT DISTINCT ORGANIZATIONAL CLIMATES HAVE EMERGED During my time in the jail, I had at one time or another worked every hour of the day in intake, but my hours most often fell du ring the middle shift. Therefore, I am familiar with the operating styles of all shifts. What struck me the most about them, however, was shift change. When the day shift left and the night came in, it was an entirely different jail. I was encouraged to pe rform my own tasks differently by the COs on various shifts For instance, if I were dealing with a belligerent inmate in my office (who would be of no physical threat because we would be separated by glass), my response would differ depending on the hour of the day. During the day shift, I would radio for the prisoner to be removed and have to wait for an officer to come when he or she had a chance During the middle shift, if that response did not work immediately, I would exit to the hallway and ask a ne arby officer to remove him when he or she had a chance. During the night shift, I was encouraged to phone the control room to alert the sergeant of the situation and a group of officers (oftentimes both deputies and the sergeant) would burst in almost imme diately with or without, depending on the severity of the belligerence, taser guns. If I did not react according to shift, I would be admonished in some way. If I demanded too much assistance during the day shift, I would be told I was making a fuss. If I merely radioed for an inmate to be removed during the night and when the deputy responding met a belligerent inmate, he or she would scold me for not implicitly


68 requesting the use of physical force. With the mix of night and day during the middle shift, t he situation could go in several directions. I can safely say that the other workers with my experiences in my department would support these assertions. I did not base my study on these experiences. I wish I could have coded all these situations for a yea r and half, but I did not. I do not need to incorporate my own experience strongly into this study, however, for I found the data I gathered here to corroborate my familiarity with the facility. I share my observations above to highlight the obviousness of shift differential to those who se work straddled hours in this facility: that two work organization climates prospered. Both the day organization and the night organization have merits and faults I will explore, and I hope to explore how to address the pr oblems this creates. In both my informal observation of COs in the jail described above and my formal interviews of participants, the most striking differentiation was that between the two main shifts. The day shift exhibited somewhat more diversity in opi nion and much more diversity in age, career stage, and background. The night COs were statistically younger, earlier in their careers, more likely to have college credit and/or experience in the military or prison, and more uniform ity in their interview an swers. The divergent responses between these shifts result, I argue, from issues of professionalism. Namely, patterns resulting from shift hours and organization, seniority procedures, public perceptions, and administrative attempts to professionalize the organization are at the roo t of this population's problems. I believe that my research on the Southwest County Jail and its sheriff's department also reflects many of the trends going on in corrections today.


69 Night and Day: Shift Differences and Implicati ons The night shift participants portrayed their shift as more of a "brotherhood." They also displayed a stronger "us versus them" mentality in their discussion of inmate interaction. They emphasized the need for officers to enforce laws more strictly. The y received a great deal less administrative supervision and, thus, described the administration as more distant, while they displayed more respect for direct managers (sergeants and some lieutenants ). All participants from this shift espoused a security or iented approach to inmate management. They displayed higher job satisfaction and organizational commitment and this was highly correlated with their ability to work more freely under the protection of their close fellow officers and under the lack of super vision from administrators. Meanwhile, day shift COs were less close with co workers and were more likely to voice distrust for them. They often specialize in one work assignment (intake, direct or linear supervision, etc.). They operate under much more ad ministrative supervision and, thus, were more likely to voice direct disdain or frustratio n in respect to administrators. Day COs were also more likely to empathize with inmates and emphasize the effectiveness or power of interpersonal skills, as it is one of the only powers they have or are encouraged to use. These participants were split almost even ly between security and care approaches to inmate management with slightly more emphasizing the latter. As a whole, however, most COs emphasized security over care, which is the most consistent with operational requirements, as Pogrebin and Poole argue. That is, it is easier for COs to only have a security role when few services for inmate care are available to them. Still, the day shift was more likely to voice the need for such services and a desire for COs to


70 be more involved helping inmates, at least as a means for fostering control and safety in the jail for both officers and inmates, as they told me. The middle shift falls somewhere between these two leanin g s. Consequently, two distinct views of professionalism emerge from the population. The night shift's ideal of professionalism emphasizes physical strength, poise/confidence, strict rule enforcement, and trust of and concern for co workers. Meanwhile, the day officers described a professional CO as one who exhibits responsibility, restraint, interpersonal skills, care, and integrity. I believe that these two approaches mirror Henderson's descriptions of "fraternal" and "professionalizing" police departments He argues that, although officers and some community members may believe fraternal to be more effective, professional police departments are actually more efficient and positive for the public. The same appears to be accurate for corrections. The efficac y of the respective shifts is evidenced among participants who stated that day shift COs are more likely to use interpersonal skills and formal procedures, such as "writing up" inmates, to settle disputes and cultivate more positive inmate interactions. Me anwhile night shift COs are significantly more likely to use violence and develop more adversarial relationships with inmates. What is most troublesome is not just that jail facilities have "fraternal," ineffective, and potentially irresponsible organizat ions operating within them, but that one department can have two distinct shifts: one with a fraternal organization and one professionalizing. Given the "split" work assignments and the responsibilities of the night shift, the development of brotherhood is natural. Deputies are encouraged to float between wings


71 after lockdown to help one another with changing demand from night to night. The greater likelihood of violence makes unity seem more necessary for survival. Conversely, the encouragement of speciali zation, which is only apparent or viable during the day, segregates the earlier shift in such a way that makes them less likely to assist one another. The greater number of tasks that need to be performed during the day also compels COs to stay within thei r own work assignment. Furthermore, the day shift experiences less violence to warrant needing immediate co worker assistance although one could argue this may also result from the positive inmate interactions practiced in this shift. The lack of administr ative supervision during the night and the predominance of it during the day also help explain the divergence of trust levels. The night shift C O s also appear to have more in common with one another that might account for their closeness: They are more lik ely to have college, prison, and/or military experience, be young and early in the careers, and also live in the same areas of the county. The organizational climates of the respective shifts appear to be the major factor behind these distinctions. As I d iscussed when explaining the differences in shift responsibilities, night duties may call for more use of force. A few participants mentioned this. Most, however, emphasized differences between the shifts themselves rather than their duties, characterizing the night shift as "tougher" or "crazier," and the day as "softer" or more "level headed." I believe my findings to be concurrent with those of Griffin (1999). In her jail study, Griffin found that COs readiness to use force is determined less by individu al personalities than by organizational climate. Not coincidentally, she finds that COs' readiness to use force is directly correlated with their perceived quality of the supervisors. In my study, night COs reported much more


72 satisfaction with their shift supervisors than day COs. The night shift feels more comfortable exerting physical force because they expect supervisors' support, while day officers often reported lacking administrative support and fearing retribution for physical force. Thus, administra tors are responsible for the dissimilar conditions on both shifts probably not only uses of physical force As Griffin argues, these organizational structures shape officers' perceptions of the institution. Thus, a change from night to day shift is often difficult and even dem oral izing for COs in my studied population especially mid career because they have shaped themselves to fit an entirely different organization. Perhaps the prevalence of younger, inexperienced COs often with recent military and/or pr ison experience in a n arguably more dangerous working environment developed this organizational climate, but all of those working within it respond accordingly. What else could explain the dramatic change in trainees when they switch shifts? For example, a s Griffin suggests, training has little effect on readiness to use force compared to organizational climate. While the day shift appears to have some philosophical variance on inmate management, night shift workers had the least variance of any group. With the exception of COs who have both extensive experience in the jail and also in another correctional organization, this shift had few unique responses. Furthermore, though the day officers had more varied responses, their responses about administrative pr essure suggest that when they do use force, they do similarly to one another. The organizational climate and perhaps the more lengthy experience of COs during the day appears to encourage using interpersonal skills instead of physical.


73 Perhaps these day an d also older COs emphasize interpersonal skills more because they are the only power they have. Operating under a greater expectation of ethics and also perhaps with less physical strength due to age they depend on this aptitude to perform tasks effectivel y. This is a positive outcome, as studies and departmental training advise that this approach to managing inmates is more successful than physical violence. Furthermore, COs with more years on the job emphasize this tactic also because their experience has demonstrated to them the efficacy of interpersonal skills. Younger and/or more inexperienced COs often find themselves offered little incentive within the organization of their night shift to exercise restraint and, thus, develop their skills later in the ir careers. That is, they will develop these skills should they survive the stress of the job, especially under these nocturnal conditions of heightened inmate officer hostility and of fraternal union that cannot be applied under the more professional and professionally hostile conditions of the day shift. Impediments to Professionalism For these participants in this jail, seniority, shift organization, administrative professionalization strategies and priorities, and public perception have manifested as t he l argest threats to professional operation. These issues are highly interrelated, reinforcing one another's negative effects. Seniority Seniority is a status awarded to officers in order of the time they have worked within an agency The longer an office r has worked there, the more seniority he or she has. Officers receive more pay with seniority and use it to attain the shift and/or work


74 assignment they prefer. Those with more seniority are often considered first for promotions. Many are attracted to car eers in law enforcement and corrections because of their graduated, seniority based pay scales and often consider it in their occupational decisions. In dual track departments, seniority may be awarded to COs and LEO s separately. That is, a CO may not have the same seniority if he or she transfers to patrol. Seniority strongly inhibits individual officers' professional portability and also the administration's ability to exercise discretion. Participants complain that the structure of the department as char acteristic of all law enforcement and/or corrections agencies where they may not want to be anymore. In this case, the seniority structure keeps them in the jail rather than "on the road." To enter law enforcement, COs must retrain and this requires sponso rship that their own organization is often unwilling to offer to corrections deputies since its jail like every other such facility in the country is so understaffed. Most COs who do become LEOs often do so by transferring to another agency all together ei ther a sheriff's department or a city or state police department and accept ing the corresponding pay cut and lower seniority status which puts them on the most unpopular shifts and assignments, despite their experience. If not for these issues, transfer r ate would be higher among COs. Administrations' discretionary management of officers is also inhibited by seniority structures. These practices restrain administrators from terminating officers with poor performances and also puts even poor officers with h igh seniority ahead in line for promotions over stronger COs with lower seniority. This discretion in officer management is necessary, but suppressed by seniority. Shift Organization


75 This facility's organization of essentially cutting its staff into two t welve hour shifts also constitutes a threat to a more professionally run jail or at least a consistently run one. Ideally, a professionally run jail would be operated by efficient, trained COs with the ability to affect operational procedures and interact positively with inmates (and the respect of the department and the community). At least, a professionalizing department would run a facility with more consistency from officer to officer. Shift organization is an impediment to this progress. Although other facilities may operate slightly shorter shifts, backbreaking hours are characteristic of this field. These hours prevent COs from developing normal lives and interacting with regular citizens. Along with an "us versus them" mentality, these hours help pro duce the camaraderie of the night shift, and also put COs out in the cold when this brotherhood is lost either due to a falling out from the group or a transfer to another shift I believe the positive outcome of shorter, overlapping hours is evidenced in the middle shift who at least by their own accounts and not contradicting my own experience with them exhibited attributes I believe to be positive from both shifts: the levelheadedness and professional conduct of the day and the firmness and alertness of the night. These middle shift workers operate almost exclusively in intake so I cannot make strong conclusions about how this would translate to other work assignments, such as in linear or direct supervision in population, but I cannot imagine high ly neg ative results. The work crew CO I interviewed also worked mixed hours regularly, and that participants exhibited many positive characteristics of professional conduct and inmate interaction (although this is also correlated with the unique work assignment)


76 More importantly, this current shift organization operates so that seniority places the older, more experienced COs on the day shift and the younger, more inexperienced COs on the night shift. The age, experience, and, importantly, the administrative pr esence during the day have shaped a more professional organizational climate. Meanwhile, the demographics and inexperience of the night shift COs and the lack of administrative interference has developed a much more fraternal organizational climate. The o rganization of statistically older and more experienced COs on one shift and younger, less experienced COs on the other has resulted in shift isolation. Not only does the day shift possess most of the experienced officers, but also the two shifts are compl etely separated. Several participants complained of lack of communication. This isolation manifests in the shifts having little respect for one another and also the night shift to have an inflated sense of capability since they have never been permanently assigned to the day shift. The administration appears to have played a strong role in the development of the shift organization, which is obviously problematic in operations. Participants informed me that COs had lobbied in favor of creating shorter shifts that might have created more overlapping hours between squads and perhaps more uniform organizational climates. These attempts were unsuccessful. Not only would shorter shifts have improved m oral/verbal e and probably increased productivity (as COs would e xperience less fatigue), but these proposals might have also addressed the "two shifts, two jails" problem I have described. Characteristic of hostile administration deputy relations, a problem resulted from unwillingness to collaborate that reinforced man agement issues.


77 Additionally, the administration has done little to prevent the prevalence of inexperience on one of their shifts. Although this phenomenon was probably an unintentional product of the seniority system in which COs with more "time in" opt f or working earlier in the day, what is the wisdom of allowing the most inexperienced and often youngest COs to serve alone on one shift with no training officers, few experienced officer s and usually only one or two administrators (the highest of them bei ng lieutenants) a shift? These lieutenants, the low est level of administrator, almost always have the lowest seniority in their rank group and often are transplanted from a day sergeant's post to the later shift. With little guidance from other administrat ors and left alone to lead a shift with a fraternal organizational structure already in place, these men and women arguably experience a great deal more pressure to accommodate the night shift's tendencies than to assert personal authority, enforce rules o f conduct, and/or advance professional conduct. As mentioned earlier, I did not interview any such officers. From observation of shift and promotion patterns, however, I believe these assertions to be true and help explain the maintenance of the shift diff erentiation I have discussed. Like the deputies who opt to use their seniority to work during the day, administrators demonstrate an unwillingness to work nocturnally, as evidenced by the low number of them on the later shift. Just as with the placement of inexperienced deputies with no training officers, administrators should recognize the imprudence of placing inexperienced lieutenants alone on a shift. More administrative presence during the night could not only support more professional conduct there, b ut also take some pressure off of the day shift. This could also prevent problems resulting from the lack of administrative company: the night shift freedom that leads to lawsuits from inmates;


78 COs' difficulty in adjusting to the more supervised day shift when they inevitably leave the world of the night shift; the loss of new COs who might feel alienated by the fraternal, aggressive organizational structure of the night shift; the underdevelopment of professional conduct in favor of fraternal, "us versus t hem" mentality, etc. Jail operations is a twenty four hour job and around the clock work is the nature of the correctional career. If administrators want to manage their organization effectively, they need to spread their working hours across that of the facility. With 100% of the administration working nine to five, it is no wonder the day shift feels like it is walking on eggshells and the night shift wields power with little concern for supervisor retribution. Every CO has some complaint about the admin istration. Even those without animosity at least view it as failed resource. Administrators need to make a greater effort towards positive officer interactions and one way to do this is to spread their own hours to correspond with their front line officers '. Administrative Strategies for "Professionalization" Similarly to many other agencies, this administration's attempts to change the image of its department through professionalization have been incomplete and ineffective. These new approaches have affect ed the day and night shifts differently, fostering disunity and more positive inmate interactions in the former, while cultivating union and greater inmate officer conflict in the latter. During inmates' waking hours and under the gaze of the administratio n, the day shift has undergone a mov e towards specialization in recent years. Officers receive work assignments to intake, direct supervision, linear supervision, or split intake supervision (for female deputies assigned to female inmates). Encouraging spe cialization primarily


79 in the day shift is well intentioned, but my participants argue that the cost seems to outweigh the benefit: They do not know or trust their co workers as they did in the past. Meanwhile, this administration's attempts to recruit mor e quality COs has been correlated or perhaps directly resulted in a generation of deputies who are concentrated on the night shift due to seniority practices and who have less diversity of backgrounds than those on the day shift. The qualities valued in re cruiting appear to be military or corrections experience and college credit. My data indicates a correlation between often recent military and prison experience and a more security oriented interaction with inmates. Among the night shift participants, thes e factors appear to play a strong role in the development of the "us versus them" brotherhood of the shift. Education does not appear to have a positive effect on these officers. Jurik and Moshena argue that more educated COs do not take a more care orient ed approach to inmates, as correctional administrations have hoped, but often display more frustration in interactions because they find no operational avenues for such service. They find no code or freedom that a profession should offer (457 459). This su pports my portrayal of these COs isolated on the night shift. Obviously, the organization of the department and the organizational climate of the shift work to encourage security oriented approaches among night COs. No legitimate procedures for COs and few outside programs are offered to assist inmates, especially after lights out, as several night COs pointed out Furthermore, no administrators are present to encourage the use of more positive verbal interaction over negative or physical interaction in man agement. Consequently, this form of security oriented, severe, often physical approach is most accessible and encouraged to night COs.


80 Obviously, career stage, not just shift, plays a role in this phenomenon. Pogrebin and Poole discuss how early career COs become more disillusioned with corrections as they work longer. In my study, trainees who work during the day still operate under the "fair but firm" mentality of both training and the day shift. COs inevitably lose some of their idealism as their careers progress, but losing trainees to the night shift often stifles or at least greatly prolongs the full development of this care oriented, "fair but firm" philosophy advocated by day shift COs of all career stages. After serving on fraternal, security orient ed squads with little supervision, these night shift officers naturally develop into disillusioned day shift officers with feelings of vanished brotherhood, of lost control, and of being under the administrative microscope. This may account for the hostili ty so prevalent among COs earlier in their day shift career. To address this problem, I cannot suggest a change in training because I did not study it extensively enough, and also I feel that changes in training would have little effect on the organization al construction. After a certain point, no continuity structure for training exists. The training COs have received either in the academy or on the day shift under the guidance of training officers stops when they are put on the night shift. The more exper ienced night officers lament the absence of training officers on their shift. If such structure existed, night shift COs would operate more like its day counterpart. I would strongly suggest, however, as the experienced night COs do, that the administratio n place training officers on the night shift. Jurik and Mosheno argued that more educated COs were even more frustrated than others because they have more academic knowledge in the field that they cannot apply to work. I found more educated COs had indeed given up on such attempts, but


81 also that COs across shifts, career stages, and ages complained that the administration did not take their opinions into account during decision making. This is no t surprising for a paramilitary governmental department (i.e. characterized by ranks and orders, etc .) Night shift COs explained that they went "above and beyond" in their duties because they wanted to perform well for the "team." Meanwhile, day COs were much more likely to say that they do not try to work creative ly, use their own judgment, and/or go "above and beyond" because this was more likely to bring on administrative admonishment. This is troublesome for many reasons. Firstly, only in more fraternal, informal shift is creativity and more effort allowed or ev en encouraged, while the more experienced COs on the day shift who appear to have more expertise feel threatened if they attempt to perform "above and beyond" and/or use discretion and/or creativity in inmate interaction. Therefore, such efforts appear onl y informally; legitimate channels for exercising CO expertise are virtually non existent. Secondly, Hepburn found that job performance and job satisfaction are positively correlated so night officers may indeed, as they argue, perform tasks with more effor t than the day shift COs because they are more satisfied working in their fraternal organization. Thirdly, these differing practices of exercising creativity and/or judgment ensure that no two COs will perform tasks alike. Inconsistency was one of the most common complaints among all participants. In his writings on bureaucracy, Weber explained that bureaucratic institutions can perform tasks uniformly. Though bureaucracy may appear inefficient as the communities perceived more professionalized police depar tments to be in Henderson's and Chackerian's studies bureaucratic institutions operate more fairly because standardization facilitates uniform treatment of the public. Through their desire for more


82 consistent performance of tasks, COs may be unintentionall y asking to be able to work bureaucratically: to be able to do the job the same. COs' ability to exercise discretion or to affect the standards of procedures may appear to be incompatible in the department studied. Extra effort, judgment and/or creativity appear in the less formal shift and/or under less formal managers. No legitimate avenues exist for COs to affect operations or policy, despite their levels of expertise or experience. Since two distinct organizational structures are perpetuated in the faci lity, inconsistency will persist. While the administration has tried to encourage professionalization through specialization, staff upgrading, and more service oriented training, these efforts have not been complemented by any changes in the organization' s operations itself to assist COs who would like to improve service itself. Only COs operating without administrative supervision "get away" with this. Thus, they experience dem oral/verbal ization when they must work on a shift with much more administration supervision. Lack of administrative support even for formal actions for expressing CO expertise is directly related to lower job satisfaction and, thus, performance. Public Perception and Departmental Priorities Tyler argues that public perception is an aspect of professionalization that cannot be confronted directly with funding to police departments. He suggests that public re socialization must be somehow achieved to foster trust and respect from communities towards its police. I did not study the publ ic itself, but participants uniformly reported that they experienced apathy and disrespect from the community. Furthermore, they argued that LEOs experienced much greater respect in both the department and the


83 community. Therefore, COs have an even longer road to public understanding and value than LEOs. Departmental data show that COs and LEOs receive similar hours of training (both initially and throughout their careers) and that more educated men and women are being recruited to both corrections and law enforcement divisions. COs, however, appear to be paid a few thousand dollars less annually. Funding is also slanted towards law enforcement with more dollars committed to its resources and LEO overtime. Clearly, the department prioritizes law enforcement over corrections. Tyler argues that elected sheriffs, especially those with more public profiles, experience more pressure to expand law enforcement. From my experience in the community, I can attest that this department faced such demands from the publi c. Thus, the public' own crime concerns are at the heart of this departmental prioritizing. At the same time, as many COs pointed out, the department also experiences a great deal of negative press coverage about the jail. The sheriff must meet simultaneou s demands from the public both to expand law enforcement and to refine its jail. Thus, public perception of both corrections and law enforcement and the department's priorities are directly related. Similarly to many other administrations, this one has res ponded through professionalization strategies. I have discussed several of the impediments above. Public perception, however, is also a significant hurdle. With the expansion and moves towards professionalization of law enforcement, more and more citizens will experience jail or have friends and family members who do. The demand for an advanced jail that also !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I do not share specific numbers so as to not implicate the specific department studied. Furthermore, I suspec t this data to be representative of many similar departments.


84 effectively secures criminals will only increase. This is the source of the administration's desire to professionalize COs, an objective that has not been operationalized effectively. The Experience of the Work Crew Officer In addition to the COs assigned to population and intake, I also interviewed one officer who worked with a work crew. From this data and my informal experience with work crew office rs who function with their crews inside or outside of the facility, I found that such COs foster much more positive inmate interactions and much higher job satisfaction. This is directly related to the degree of autonomy allowed to these officers. My parti cipant described that this work assignment allowed officers to "hand pick" their own crews, allocate tasks to their inmate employees, and even counsel them. They often worked with little administrative supervision (although the participant's complaints abo ut administrators paralleled those of the day shift). Work crew officers often work mixed hours with a variety of COs. Since their inmates must pass certain criteria to serve and also work closely with their officer supervisors, these officers develop more trusting relations with inmates. My participant even told me that work crew COs could operate as professional references to inmates once they were released. Work crew COs appear to have many of the professional perks that others complain of lacking. They work constructively and autonomously on tasks. They recruit inmates to work. They can have positive interactions with certain inmates and even help them "on the outside." They also work mixed hours that does not pin them to one organizational climate. Cons equently, this participant reported more enthusiasm than any other I interviewed telling me, "I love my job ."


85 Although I cannot make strong conclusions based on an interview with one participant, this CO's experience serves as an important piece to what c an improve the job of the CO and the facility as a whole, as it also corroborates what other researchers and I suggest: that opportunity to exercise skill, expertise, discretion, and autonomy improves officer satisfaction and even performance. Furthermore, these responsibilities might serve to fill the void of which other COs complain. They are also pieces of professionalism.


86 STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING JAIL CORRECTIONS: CONCLUDING THOUGHTS ON THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS STUDY FOR CORRECTIONS IN THE 21ST CENTU RY My participants offered responses to many of the new developments in both corrections and officer professionalization. Firstly, a change unique to jails is an increase in the number of average citizens processed, resulting from a transformation in poli cing strategies, perhaps related to that field's own attempts to professionalize, such as in drunk driving enforcement as a public safety tactic or using arrest uniformly in domestic violence incidents. Many of the reforms the corrections field has seen in recent years comes from inmate litigation, which has put pressure on agencies to improve facilities, especially through professionalization. Participants noted their frustration with this power structure as changes come from outside rather than inside th e jail Secondly, this study's population is one whose department chose to divide officers into two separate bureaus corrections and law enforcement and thus develop two dis tinct career tracks in order to encourage professional specialization (Pogrebin and Poole). Thirdly, also in an effort to enhance public image of professionalism, correctional administrations have attempted to recruit more college educated COs, though, as Jurik and Moshena argue, this "upgrading" has not been accompanied with any corresp onding changes in training or operations to facilitate this staff's integration into departments or implementation of a more service oriented approach to prisoners. All of these changes have passed outside of the control of front line corrections officers. Administrations have sought to meet demand for better corrections with the


87 professionalization of COs through more education, training, and specialization. This has not, however, been accompanied by other essential traits of professionalism, such as exper tise, technique or operational theory, autonomy over conditions, or respect from the public. Pogrebin and Poole as well as my participants argue that COs must develop personal work styles and strong interpersonal skills in order to operate effectively. Obv iously, the use of officer discretion must be operationalized through the formal organization rather than through casual acceptance within fraternal organization, an avenue that appears to encourage more questionable or at least more unpredictable judgment calls. If COs are to be viewed as professionals, their opinions should be respected and integrated into operations. COs argue that inconsistency due to the level of discretion COs are allowed varying from manager to manager and shifts poses a threat to th eir safety. That is, these front line officers desire professionalization through their explicit need for both standards and practices that are commonly understood and the ability to exercise judgment in the implementation of them. Furthermore, many partic ipant s pointed out that "real life" in the jail was much different than training and much of what they learned could not be applied to their actual work. Consequently, departments should make the effort to incorporate CO real life strategies. This would no t only legitimize COs' expertise, but also recognize professional techniques and operational theory that the workers themselves how found to be most useful. Such a role in policy making and operations would give workers more control over conditions: the ki nd of workplace autonomy associated with professionalism. These steps towards professionalizing may have more effect on the quality of conditions that administrators


88 seek to improve in response to external pressures. Furthermore, with the improvement of co nditions and more realistic operational techniques would come greater job satisfaction and performances among COs. In stronger bargaining positions in the department and operating with real organizational opportunities to service imprisoned populations, CO s should interact more positively with inmates. An officer with no power and few structural options for assistance in rehabilitation or services may have little to offer inmates and, therefore, utilize physical force or at least hostile tactics more often. As it stands now, most COs and inmates have little to offer one another and, therefore, have little incentive to get along. I think the study of work crew COs is noteworthy in these arguments. Although these COs do not have any more say in policy making t han others, they exert a much higher level of autonomy. This freedom, along with the nature of the work assignment responsibilities, appears to be correlated with positive inmate interactions that may be legitimately exercised to help inmates reintegrate i nto the community through providing professional reference. These COs deal with inmates directly, as COs in direct supervision might. Stohr, Lovrich, and Wilson (1994) find that although many jails report dangerously high levels of stress among staff, dire ct supervision facilities appear to suffer more manageable levels of stress. 7 This appears to support my analysis of work crew COs. I cannot make stronger assertions about this work assignment because I have only the knowledge of these officers' responsibi lities and the interview of one participant. My !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 7 Unfortunately, I did not interview enough COs working in direct supervision to make any strong assertion about positive inmate interactions, but my data did not appear to contradict Stohr, Lo vrich, and Wilson.


89 observation of other work crew COs and my interview with this participant appears so deviant from other COs' attitudes and interactions that this information cannot be ignored. Prison and jail operations cann ot be treated identically. Jail inmates are released back into the community within hours, days, weeks, or months of their arrests. Most are very likely to return, but rarely commit serious enough crimes receive prison sentences. Reintegration should be a priority for these community agencies, and some COs I interviewed explicitly expressed an interest in playing such a role. I believe that expanding work crew programs could held serve this goal and also foster more positive interactions between COs and inm ates. In every aspect of the jail administration, training, etc. inmate control takes precedence over inmate needs. If these programs were advanced, control be still be paramount, but promoting service would play a much bigger role. Furthermore, COs viewed as employers rather than guards may be in more positive positions to develop control and productive interactions with inmates. "Convict labor" is a concept that has received a negative connotation due to its historically exploitative past. With correction s administrations looking to professionalize, however, perhaps inmate work assignments can develop into the reintegration programs that they should be. Especially since county jails house people from the surrounding community, their operations are closely monitored. Exploitation of these prisoners, therefore, may be less likely or at least more likely to be revealed and stopped. Characteristics of work crew COs that may contribute to their efficacy and satisfaction are mixed work hours and more experience. In my interviews of middle shift COs, I found that these hours provide for shorter and presumably less stressful shifts


90 and also observation of how the night and day shifts operate differently. These COs' techniques appear to fall somewhere between those o f the other two shifts. If one is to accept the day and night shift's complaints about one another as equally valid, this phenomenon may be one that should be perpetuated. I propose that overlapping, shorter shifts should be the norm of corrections departm ents. Alleviating co workers isolation from one another will enhance communication and encourage uniformity in completion of tasks. This might also improve inter officer relations. Furthermore, shorter hours would ease officer stress and burnout. The shi ft or ganization in the facility has caused tension and conflicting practices between the two major shifts, an imbalance of experience during the night and day, strenuous hours, and divergent professionalizing trends. Specialization in intake and supervisio n during the day shift has also contributed to some of these issues. The administration has attempted to professionalize through specialization and, according to participants pushed twelve hour shifts through union negotiations. Seniority, however, which is practiced throughout the country, may play a more important role in this poor shift organization. Recent policy shifts within the public educational system have opened up the controversial proposal of eliminating teacher tenure in favor of rewarding per formance, arguing that the meritorious will be awarded and burnouts will be eradicated. I believe that this approach should be introduced to corrections and also law enforcement organizations. This would encourage the termination and/or non promotion of po or ly perform ing officers who have seniority and reward stronger officers, regardless of seniority. This would give stronger incentives for officers to perform well and also to


91 enforce policy. As in the teaching profession, eliminating seniority would be di fficult, especially since the graduated pay scale and security are some of the main reasons many are attracted to the career. Since corrections experiences such high burnout rates and so many of my own participants reported a desire to transfer out of the department, however, the costs of seniority appear to outweigh the benefits. Furthermore, eliminating seniority would open up other strategies for placing officers on shifts rather than the current occurrence of more experienced officers working during the day and often young, less experienced COs working on the night shift without training officer s and with little administrative supervision. Administrators of different levels of experience should also be spread more evenly across shifts if they would like to ensure professional conduct in their facility. The merit of eliminating seniority at least in the shift assignment process is clear: (1) Experienced COs and training officer would be distributed so that new COs would go through real life (rather than ac ademy) training for longer. (2) Younger and/or more physically fit officers would be distributed across shifts to enhance security. (3) The spread of administrators across shifts would take pressure of off a single shift and foster professionalizing organi zational climates resulting in more less hostile inmate relations, consistency in task completion, etc. rather than informal, fraternal organizational climates. (4) Breaking up segregation of young, inexperienced COs from older, more experienced COs would allow an evener distribution of talent, more consistency, easier integration of new officers, more professional conduct, and less hostility. (5) Shift shuffling would encourage creativity and reduce complacency, which would enhance security.


92 This proposal would not be popular in the lower or upper levels of the department. Many experienced officers would not like the idea of having to work nighttime hours. If this proposal were operationalized, administrators might address these complaints by reorganizing s hift assignment biannually or annually so that COs a re not stuck on particular shifts. This would also benefit the organization so that no deviant organizational climates develop during certain hours. If COs changed their shifts regularly, this would encou rage their creativity and also discourage complacency. Breaking up monotony in officer movement is also related to increased safety, as inmates cannot predict patterns of which they can take advantage. Also, shortening hours and offering different overlapp ing shifts might alleviate st ress of certain hours and keep COs involved in life outside the jail. Convincing administrators themselves appears to be the greatest problem. Very little research has been conducted on administrators themselves, although liter ature suggests, as one of my participants did, that they are more "reactive" than "proactive." I cannot confidently propose the most effective way to encourage new policy strategies among these men and women themselves. I also cannot speculate whether or n ot correctional administrations have discussed the merits of spreading COs with varying experience levels, training officers, and administrators across their shifts. I also cannot explore the differing shifts of other facilities, such as not whether many o r fewer other departments split their officers into additional shorter shifts with more overlapping hours. Furthermore, I did not study how the administration and the union of this population negotiated these areas, although participants did perceive that even the union had little power in such talks. Regardless, the administration of the studied facility never


93 challenged the seniority process that allowed the most experienced officers to work on the day shift and forced the most inexperienced COs to work t ogether on the latter shift. Seniority has developed this system and would play an indelible role if the department challenged it. If administration can be convinced of the merit of this idea, their greatest impediment to achieving this kind of organizatio nal revision will be unions. Unions have made much needed contributions to workers' rights in the past, but their cooperation is unlikely and imperative in this necessary modification. As in the public schools, the system as it stands is not working effect ively and, thus, the best workers should recognize the necessity of collaboration. As COs already feel ignored and disrespected by administrators, the relationship itself between COs and administrators should be redesigned in a collaborative process. Union s can certainly play a role in this. Besides, if administrator officer conditions were improved, unions would be more likely to work positively with administrations. Another weight on the shoulders of administrators is chronically low turnover. In the case of the Southwest County Jail, much of the poor turnover was due to staff firings and resignations for ethical and rule violations (i.e. allowing inmates to use private telephones, sexual misconduct, overuse of force, arrest, etc.), carelessness/negligence (i.e. not observing inmate altercations or escape in a timely fashion, not finding contraband on arrestees during processing, etc.) or even arguing in defense of co workers facing termination. While firings for these indiscretions occur in all correction al facilities, the Southwest County Jail appeared to be especially plagued. Participants offered several explanations for this phenomenon: (1) Lack of training in and administrative attention to


94 ethics, (2) psychological stress or change (i.e. paranoia, lo ss of judgment, feelings of invincibility, weakness, or even sexual prowess, etc.) stemming from corrections work or the possibility of psychologically unbalanced people being attracted to the field, and/or (3) the hostile relationship between the correcti ons bureau and the sheriff's administration. Some of these terminations or resignations may, in fact, be the growing pains of professionalization. Yet the prevalence indicates that the administration is unable to bring its employees to the level of profess ional advancement for which they are striving. Whatever the case, the road to collaboration between administrators and COs will be long and hard. One possible approach to convincing sheriff department of the merit of these reform strategies is to advance p ublic portrayal of corrections as a method of crime prevention. Sheriff's departments play a unique role in their communities in that they serve to both enforce law and house those who break it. They may, in fact, be m ost qualified to recognize the latter to have more potential in curbing repeat offenders, thus preventing crime. Furthermore, COs have voiced a wish to help. In addition to the search for a financially stable job and the challenge of limited job options, corrections officers often enter their field for many of the same civically motivated reasons that police join the force. Many report desires to do more good in the hostile environment in which they work, but are not considered authorities within the department and, thus, are denied such opport unities. Notably and perhaps consequently, feelings of low status inevitably lead to the high burnout and low turnover rates observed in corrections. Most COs who have no interest in altering their job description have become so because their idealism burn ed


95 out. I believe the majority of corrections officers would improve their job performance if they thought they could play a role in crime prevention. This is a great deal to propose for organizations with only local funding. Considering the great deal of money poured into technology for LEOs and the little money rehabilitation or reintegration programs cost, however, small steps in this direction are certainly viable. Even with low success rates, rehabilitation and reintegration programs are far more succe ssful in crime prevention than law enforcement, which can only address crime once it has happened. The professionalization of COs would also develop new policy strategies that could assist in crime prevention and law enforcement goals. Public opinion is th e greatest impediment to any policy change in a department headed by an elected officer. Firstly, as Tyler, Henderson, and Chackerian argue in their studies of police officers, the public does not appear to recognize the merits of professionalized sheriff' s departments yet. Secondly, communities give thought to law enforcement long before corrections. Overwhelmingly favoring law enforcement over corrections in local, state, and federal budgets is a gross oversight, but one perpetuated by public pressure on public officials. Unfortunately, quality corrections has never been popularly considered in citizen crime concerns. While police are seen and understood (at least in comparison to COs), the jail is often left without consider ation, along with its dwellers. Public consideration of these proposals relates directly to the status of COs and the jail itself. Status is difficult to develop and the lack of it causes much of the job dissatisfaction reported among my participants, especially among COs with the stron gest resumes to move on to other agencies. COs' lack of status and lack of a say in operations


96 has to be addressed if departments wish to retain officers at all, especially those with education and experience. Government officials seeking to improve cor rections might consider privatization as a method. This may be another unpopular strategy with famous failures. Like any major policy change, this one would have to withstand scrutiny. Privatization is associated with other professionals, such as doctors a nd lawyers. Nurses and teachers often also work for private institutions. In many corrections institutions, the medical staff consists of employees of a contracted company. COs have no t developed monopoly or autonomy because they often ent er the field thro ugh an academy sponsorship from a specific department. Once in this department, they earn seniority that prevents them from transferring to other agencies without experiencing a pay cut. Their skills are portable, but COs often feel inhibited by seniority practices' financial effect. If corrections were privatized, pay might be based more on merit rather than seniority. This portability without financial loss and merit based pay would enhance COs professionalism. Without the constraints of public elections processes, the expansion of a private field would also provide for developing more competitively effective strategies based on professional expertise. Furthermore, communities dissatisfied with the services of a corrections company could replace it without an election Privatization cannot guarantee that all of the issues I discuss will be addressed, but public institutions have proven sluggish in their attempts. Communities might also consider making their sheriffs appointed officials rather than elected. This might assist those running these law enforcement corrections departments in being less subject to conflicting and/or unrealistic demands of police and

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97 jails. Furthermore, ineffective sheriffs could be removed more easily. Less publicly inhibited sheri ffs, as Tyler suggests, are more inclined to professionalize their departments. Considering tha t administrative attempts have been incomplete in developing strategies for professionalizing officers to collaborate in operations, however, this solution does not fully address the issues I have discussed. Changing sheriffs to appointed officials and/or privatizing departments should be accompanied by major restructuring: eliminating seniority and pushing merit pay, reshuffling shift organization, instituting s trong administrator officer collaboration, reallocating funds to inmate rehabilitation and reintegration programs, and seriously endeavoring to enhance public image and status of corrections officers. In recent years, administrative efforts to protect dep artments in both corrections and law enforcement have perhaps hurt them more than helped. Administrators have tried to improve the number of staff through sponsoring officer s through academy training, as well as through the graduated, seniority based pay t hat keep officers in the agency that initially trained and hired them. Their steps to "upgrade" staffing through recruiting more college educated COs was also an effort to improve services, but did not change operations to correspond to a service oriented approach. 8 The benefits of these attempts have either been minimal or counterproductive all together. In the facility I studied, these efforts along wit h older practices left in place resulted in the develop ment of two distinct !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Administrations also crack ed down on inmate abuse and/ or maltreatment by strengthening supervision of officers and developing stricter rules conduct This was a response to increased inmate litigation and has appeared to be successful. This was the first step in facility improvement and, therefore, too early a development for me to analyze properly.

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98 and even contradictory organ izational climates that leave officers and inmates frustrated. The process of professionalization has been incomplete in corrections. In professionalized fields, such as medicine and law, workers enter the work force already trained and knowledgeable in sk ills, technique, and ethics and are, therefore, awarded public respect and professional autonomy. Department administrations in jail corrections have failed to recognize that a development of such a professional system for officers would address many of th eir concerns and that their perpetuation of seniority practices and of ignoring officer expertise prevents professional progress. If COs and LEOs for that matter operated as a profession rather than a semi profession, they would be trained and subject to p rofessional guidelines rather than simply the department for which they work. Departments could spend less time worrying about managing COs and more studying how to run their facility more efficiently with the help of expert officers Certainly, COs would have more portable skills and more inclined to move from agency to agency as demand required Understaffing might not be as prevalent, however, because professionalized COs would be satisfied with the advantages respected expertise, autonomy, rewards, etc. and less inclined to exit the field. With corrections and law enforcement budgets ballooning, this country has to make a choice. Certainly, both entities require financial and public policy attention. Comprehensive study of both fields should continue to seek the most efficient and socially productive ways to improve them. Corrections, however, has been the ignored component of crime prevention for too long. Either if we insist on imprisoning so many or if we someday decide we can no longer afford this pr actice, we must take a new approach to corrections and its officers. If we are concerned with reducing crime, we

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99 should dedicate a profession to it. That profession can be corrections in both namesake and reality.

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100 REFERENCES Bazemore, Gordon and Todd J. Dicker. 1994. "Explaining Detention Worker Orientation: Individual Characteristics, Occupational Conditions, and Organizational Environment." Journal of Criminal Justice 4: 297 312. Barber, B. 1970. "Some Problems in the Sociology of the Profession." J.A. Jackson, Ed. Professions and Professionalization New York: Cambridge University Press. Bureau of Justice Statistics: Prison Statistics. 2008, October. U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics Retrieved October 13, 2008 ( ). Chackerian, Richard. 1974. "Police Professionalism and Citizen Evaluations: a Preliminary Look." Public Administration Review 2: 141 148. Clear, Todd R. and George F. Cole. 1997. American Corrections Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company. Cullen, F rancis T., Bonnie S. Fisher and Brandon K. Applegate. 2000. "Public Opinion about Punishment and Corrections. Crime and Justice 1: 1 79. Duffee, David. 1974. "The Correction Officer Subculture and Organizational Change." Journal of Research in Crime and De linquency 2: 155 172. Etzioni, Amitai. 1969. The Semi Professions and Their Organization: Teachers, Nurses, Social Workers New York: The Free Press. Evetts, Julia. 2003. "The Sociological Analysis of Professionalism." International Sociology 2: 395 415.

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101 Farkas, Mary Ann. 1999. "Correctional Officer Attitudes Toward Inmates and Working With Inmates in a Get Tough' Era." Journal of Criminal Justice 6: 495 506. Goode, W.J. 1970. "Encroachment, Charlatanism and the Emerging Professions." J.A. Jackson, Ed. Pr ofessions and Professionalization New York: Cambridge University Press. Griffin, Marie L. 1999. "The Influence of Organizational Climate on Detention Officers' Readiness to Use Force in a County Jail." Criminal Justice Review 24: 1 25. Henderson, Thomas A. 1975. "The Relative Effects of Community Complexity and of Sheriffs Upon the Professionalism of Sheriff's departments ." American Journal of Political Science 1: 107 132. Hepburn, John R. 1987. "The Prison Control Structure and Its Effects on Work Attit udes: The Perceptions and Attitudes of Prison Guards." Journal of Criminal Justice 1: 49 64. Jurik, N.C. and M.C. Musheno. 1986. "The Internal Crisis of Corrections: Professionalization and the Work Environment." Justice Quarterly 3/4: 457 80. Kagehiro, D orothy K. and Carol M. Werner. 2006. "Divergent Perceptions of Jail Inmates and Correctional Officers: The Blame the Other Expect to Be Blamed' Effect." Journal of Applied Social Psychology : 507 528. Kauffman, Kelsey. 1981. "Prison Officers' Attitudes and Perceptions of Attitudes: A Case of Pluralistic Ignorance." Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 2: 272 294. Kerle, K.E., & Ford, F.R. 1982. "The State of Our Nation's Jails." Washington, D.C.: National Sheriffs' Association.

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